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I am looking for a word to describe it when a person who is afraid hides their fear. Going by this online dictionary, BRAVADO is close. However, I'm looking for something with a more positive connotation, like where the intention is not to impress others or the person isn't being brash or thoughtlessly endangering themselves.

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  • Just to clarify: you did place an emphasis on the fact this person is not courageous whatsoever but just hides his/her emotions and at the same time does not want to boast, didn't you? What if we merely say this person is stoic or inscrutable? For example: "He looks blankly inscrutable regardless this big bully is about to start a fight". Nov 6, 2018 at 11:55
  • Not really. My character would actually be courageous.
    – user191110
    Nov 6, 2018 at 13:46
  • Do you mean like 'keep a stiff upper lip'? That's a bit British innit.
    – Mitch
    Nov 6, 2018 at 13:53
  • Thank you for asking. A word request can easily attract a long list of answers when it’s too subjective – more of a poll or request for ideas. A Stack Exchange question is objective and specific enough that it has a “right” answer. Please edit to include the desired register (formality), part of speech, and context in which it is to be used, and provide the exact enclosing sentence or passage. See: “How much research is needed? – EL&U Meta”.
    – MetaEd
    Nov 6, 2018 at 19:30

4 Answers 4

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I would say "stoic" fits the description.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stoic

Look at the adjective definition.

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You could use the phrase gird oneself for. Girding oneself is the process of mentally preparing for a difficult task of some kind. This is typically a completely internal process that's done to steady oneself and avoid panic, and not to impress others. An individual girding themselves for an upcoming battle would hide their fear and behave courageously.

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to put on a brave face is a phrasal verb meaning:

pretend to be calm; conceal one’s fears.
Also to put on a bold front.
Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms

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I would suggest unfazed

From the OED:

Not disconcerted or perturbed.

‘the protestors were unfazed by the prospect of arrest’

When a given person is unfazed in the face of fear this does not imply foolhardiness but merely means he or she is able to effectively cope with bad emotions (for instance fear) and does not display them. Here is an example of usage from a real news article:

Jimmy John's employee looks unfazed as robber points gun at his head

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