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I need to describe someone giving "a brave smile" (for the benefit of others) but that phrase is such a cliche. Is there an alternative that means the same? S.

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How about...

Kept a stiff upper lip

Kept their composure

Soldiered on

Put on a brave face

Showed courage

Took it on the chin, kept their chin up, kept their pecker up

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I especially like "put on a brave face," which I guess is similar to "brave smile," but less silly. – Eri Jun 25 '11 at 21:34
Very similar also is 'put up a brave front' or 'put on a brave front' – osknows Jun 25 '11 at 21:36

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