From Middle English vailaunt (“having or showing courage or valour, valiant; characterized by valour; powerful, strong; person of valour or strength; excellent, worthy; beneficial, useful; valuable; legally valid, binding”) [and other forms], from Anglo-Norman vaillaunt, vaylant [and other forms], and Old French vailant, vaillant (“brave, valiant; having value, valuable”) [and other forms], from the present participle of valoir (“to have value; to be worth”), from Latin valēre, the present active infinitive of valeō (“to have value; to be worth; to be strong; to have influence or power”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂welh₁- (“powerful, strong; to rule”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈvæ.ljənt/, /ˈva.lɪ.ənt/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈvæ.ljənt/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Hyphenation: va‧liant, va‧li‧ant
- Possessing or showing courage or determination; brave, heroic.
- 1560, Thomas Cooper, “To the Ryght Honorable Lorde Russell Erle of Bedforde, and One of the Queenes Maiesties Moste Honorable Counsell: Thomas Cooper Wisheth Longe Continuance of Prosperous Life and Muche Honour.”, in Coopers Chronicle, Conteininge the Whole Discourse of the Histories as well of This Realme, as All Other Countreis, […], new edition, London: […] [[I]n the house late Thomas Berthelettes], OCLC 1172192520:
- For by readyng of hiſtories fyrſte we know how longe time mightie empyres, great kyngedomes, famous common weales and citees haue floriſhed: how many yeres noble prynces, valiant capitaynes, and wyſe gouernours haue reigned: in what age they were, which was before other, and how farre diſtante in tyme one from an other.
- 1560, [William Whittingham et al., transl.], The Bible and Holy Scriptures Conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament. […] (the Geneva Bible), Geneva: Printed by Rouland Hall, OCLC 557472409, I. Chronicles XII:8:
- And of the Gadites there ſeparated them ſelues ſome vnto Dauid into the holde of the wildernes, valiant men of warre, and mé of armes, & apt for battel, which colde handle ſpeare and ſhield, and their faces were like the faces of lyons, and were like the roes in the mountaines in ſwiftenes, [...]
- c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene v], page 88, column 1:
- Hee's truly Valiant, that can wiſely ſuffer / The worſt that man can breath, / And make his Wrongs, his Out-ſides, / To weare them like his Rayment, careleſſely, And ne're preferre his iniuries to his heart, / To bring it into danger.
- 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: […], London: […] Nath[aniel] Ponder […], OCLC 228725984; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, […], 1928, OCLC 5190338, page 61:
- Then they read to him ſome of the worthy Acts that ſome of his Servants had done. As how they had ſubdued Kingdoms, wrought Righteouſneſs, obtained Promiſes, ſtopped the mouths of Lions, quenched the violence of Fire, eſcaped the edge of the Sword; out of weakneſs were made ſtrong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the Armies of the Aliens. [Heb[rews] 11. 33, 34.]
- 1692, Roger L’Estrange, “[The Fables of Barlandus, &c.] Fab[le] CCVII. A Wolfe and a Kid.”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: […], London: […] R[ichard] Sare, […], OCLC 228727523, page 178:
- The Advantages of Time and Place are enough to make a Poultron Valiant. There's Nothing ſo Couragious as a Coward if you put him out of Danger.
- 1718, [Maurice Shelton or John Randall], “Of the First Roman Nobility”, in An Historical and Critical Essay on the True Rise of Nobility, Political and Civil; […], London: […] C[harles] Rivington […], OCLC 776757599, page 51:
- But admit that good Men are begotten of good Parents, and valiant Men of valiant Fathers; and if this be to Mankind proper, why are not good and valiant Children begotten of good and valiant common Perſons also? for they are Men as well as the other. But nothing is more deceitful than this Rule; for through the Corruption of Man's Nature we ſee it often happens, a prodigal Son to be born of a frugal Father, a Fool of a wiſe Man, and a Coward of a courageous Man.
- Characterized by or done with bravery or valour.
- c. 1602, William Shakespeare, The Famous Historie of Troylus and Cresseid. […] (First Quarto), London: […] G[eorge] Eld for R[ichard] Bonian and H[enry] Walley, […], published 1609, OCLC 951696502, [Act II, scene ii]:
- She is a theame of honour and renowne, / A ſpurre to valiant and magnanimous deeds, / Whoſe preſent courage may beate downe our foes, / And fame in time to come canonize us, [...]
- valiaunt (obsolete)
valiant (plural valiants)
- (obsolete) A person who acts with valour, showing hero-like characteristics in the midst of danger.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 117, column 1:
- Cowards dye many times before their deaths, / The valiant neuer taſte of death but once: [...]
- 1639, “Ch. M.” [pseudonym; Matthew Kellison], “The Tenth Flovver of the Myrrhine Posie: Christ Crvcified: Or His Sufferances on the Crosse. […]”, in A Myrrhine Posie of the Bitter Dolovrs of Christ: His Passion, and of the Seaven VVords He Spake on the Crosse, Doway [i.e., Douai, France]: […] L. Kellam, OCLC 1203809202, page 123:
- O yee Angells, yee Champions and valiants of the court of heauen, and ſtout ſoldiers of Chriſt your King, who euerie one ſingle is able to encounter and to defeat the greateſt armie that euer was ſeene on earth, where are you?
- 1772, Plautus, “The Churl”, in [Richard Warner], transl., Comedies of Plautus, Translated into Familiar Blank Verse, […], volume IV, London: […] T. Becket and P. A. de Hondt, […], OCLC 504223901, Act II, scene ii, lines 19–22, page 228:
- The valiant profit more / Their country, than the fineſt clevereſt ſpeakers. / Valour once known, will ſoon find eloquence / To trumpet forth her praiſe— [...]