"Bravo!" Is an exclamation of appreciation with Italian origins (I believe)

Is there an English single word with the same meaning?

We have phrases with the same intent, such as "Nicely done", "Well done", "Good work" etc, but these are clearly not single words.

  • 4
    I'm thinking "bravo" works. (Try to actually find an "English" word of any sort.) Of course, you can always Google "bravo synonym" if you want some different words.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 12:07
  • Do Texans still say Yee-Hah? Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 12:21
  • 1
    oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/onya {{they’re the leading qualifiers for the next round. Onya fellas!}} & dictionary.reference.com/browse/well-done {{Well done! as an exclamation of approval is recorded from mid-15c}} & oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/encore {{it was Louis who shouted ‘Bravo! Encore!’}} [ As I said , "Depending on what you mean by English and what the context is" ]
    – Prem
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 13:01
  • 6
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it based on the misunderstanding that "bravo" is not now an English word. It is.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 13:26
  • 1
    In some contexts, Cheers!
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 1:09

2 Answers 2


Well done is a valid, but not the only, alternative. Some philologists suggest that 'bravo', ( not brava or bravi) should be used under all circumstances ( probably because of its specific connotations). As a side note, the exclamation is a very common one in contemporary colloquial Italian.


  • as an exclamation, "well done!," 1761, from Italian bravo, literally "brave" (see brave (adj.)). Earlier it was used as a noun meaning "desperado, hired killer" (1590s). Superlative form is bravissimo.
    • It is held by some philologists that as "Bravo!" is an exclamation its form should not change, but remain bravo under all circumstances. Nevertheless "bravo" is usually applied to a male, "brava" to a female artist, and "bravi" to two or more. ["Elson's Music Dictionary," 1905]


  • "well done" is absolutely 150% NOT a single word. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 9:57
  • 2
    I've never heard anybody say "Brava" or "Bravi" in English.
    – herisson
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 23:19
  • @sumelic - we will inform Etymonline about this. Thanks
    – user66974
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 23:52
  • 1
    @sumelic you haven't perhaps been to many operas. Some do, some don't. Josh61: I do however question the relevance today of a 110-year-old account of the opinions of "some philologists."
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 4:06
  • 1
    There must be. There are certainly duets and other ensemble pieces with only women. There may even be English speakers who say "brave" in such contexts; I just haven't heard them (I am not a big opera fan myself). For the Italian point of view, see italian.stackexchange.com/a/1891.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 4:18

A couple of possibilities might be:

hooray (interjection): Used to express approval, joy or victory. Lizzie has broken a world record, and is now an Olympic medalist! – Hooray!


huzzah (interjection) (rare, literary, poetic): Used as a cheer indicating enjoyment or approval. (noun): A cheer often associated with sailors, shouted by a group in praise of a thing or event.


  • Neither of these means "well done," as does bravo.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 4:10
  • Oh well, they seemed close enough. Both include expressing approval in their definitions, which is basically what "well done" is doing too. It would be helpful to note a contextual difference, though: you wouldn't say "bravo" at a baseball game, and probably wouldn't say "hooray" at the opera. But essentially, the speaker, in exclaiming "bravo" or "hooray," is basically saying, "I'm very pleased with the performance."
    – jsoteeln
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 4:29
  • fair enough. The thing is that "bravo" is actually praise for the performer, not the performance (though that may be lost on many English speakers for all I know), while "hooray" is a general expression of celebration that need not be directed at anything. As I reread the question though, I noticed that this distinction is only implicit in the examples given; the literal target of the question is "an expression of appreciation."
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 4:37

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