1540s, "daring, defiance, boasting," from French braverie, from braver "to brave" (see brave (adj.)) or else from cognate Italian braveria, from bravare.
No Man is an Atheist, however he pretend it and serve the Company with his Braveries. [Donne, 1631]
The original deprecatory sense is obsolete; as a good quality attested perhaps from 1580s, but it is not always possible to distinguish the senses. Meaning "fine clothes, showiness" is from 1560s and holds the older notion of ostentatious pretense.
updated on September 25, 2018