Is there a word for acknowledging and denying fear? Like, knowing that there is risk involved but still taking action.

There is a story in the Bible called "The Twelve Spies." Synopsis: 12 spies go to look at Canaan and find that it runs with milk and honey but it is filled with leery giants and walled cities. 10 of the spies think it is not a good idea to go there. 2 of the spies say that it is dangerous but they acknowledge the risk, deny the fear of it, and wish to populate Canaan.

I guess another way to put it is, "Acknowledging fear and allowing it not to take hold."

The best I can think of is "stoic", but that does not apply to fear specifically.

  • I can't think of a single word, but the figurative phrase is putting on a brave face.
    – WS2
    Mar 11, 2020 at 22:39
  • 1
    Are you looking for brave or courageous?
    – Juhasz
    Mar 11, 2020 at 22:43
  • Brave or courageous are too impersonal
    – Paul
    Mar 11, 2020 at 23:21

3 Answers 3


This verb captures what are you seeking nicely_


to confront and oppose with boldness, resolution, and often effrontery : DEFY



There is accept, recognize, allow, and accede to name a few synonyms. To accept or recognize is to acknowledge fear and not deny. To allow or accede is to admit to but not focus on fear. Also to admit to but that is not a single word.


You should have provided a full sentence where you would like to use this term. Given the register of language usually used in religious texts, I would suggest:

Defying all danger, Joshua and Caleb ventured to explore the land of Canaan.

Defy is defined by WordHippo as

To resist openly and boldly

but it doesn't mention that it is "danger" one resists. So it is better to say "defy danger". Another option would be braving all danger, but again it is not one single word.

As for the verb venture, it does cover the connotation of risk and also that of a journey, Wordhippo again defines it as

To undertake a risky or daring journey or course of action.

Consider this definition of Merriam-Webster:

Definition of venture (Entry 1 of 2) - intransitive verb

: to proceed especially in the face of danger.

So the one word you are seeking would be venture.

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