bold (adj.)

Old English beald (West Saxon), bald (Anglian) "stout-hearted, brave, confident, strong," from Proto-Germanic *balthaz (source also of Old High German bald "bold, swift," in names such as Archibald, Leopold, Theobald; Gothic balþei "boldness;" Old Norse ballr "frightful, dangerous"), perhaps from PIE *bhol-to- suffixed form of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."

Meaning "requiring or exhibiting courage" is from mid-13c. Also in a bad sense, "audacious, presumptuous, overstepping usual bounds" (c. 1200). From 1670s as "standing out to view, striking the eye." Of flavors (coffee, etc.) from 1829. The noun meaning "those who are bold" is from c. 1300 in both admiring and disparaging senses. Old French and Provençal baut "bold," Italian baldo "bold, daring, fearless" are Germanic loan-words. Related: Boldly; boldness.

updated on July 04, 2017

Definitions of bold from WordNet
bold (adj.)
fearless and daring;
a bold speech
bold settlers on some foreign shore
a bold adventure
bold (adj.)
clear and distinct;
bold handwriting
a figure carved in bold relief
a bold design
bold (adj.)
very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front;
where the bold chalk cliffs of England rise
Synonyms: bluff / sheer
bold (n.)
a typeface with thick heavy lines;
Synonyms: boldface / bold face
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