Bravo Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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After watching an incredible performance at the opera, you’ll likely hear the crowd cheer while shouting “bravo” — but what does the word bravo mean? And where did it come from? We’ll tell you. 

In this article, we’re exploring the term bravo to uncover its definition, origin, and more. So, if you’ve ever been curious about bravo and its meaning — keep reading. Here’s our complete guide on bravo. 

What Is the Definition of Bravo?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, bravo is used to express approval when a performer has done something well. 

Our word of the day is also a code word that represents the letter “B” and is often used in radio communication. That’s not all; according to the Collins Dictionary, bravo can also refer to a hired killer or assassin. 

What Is the Origin of the Word Bravo?

Since the word bravo is an interjection, it doesn’t have any derivational relatives. The Italian bravo (today meaning “brave” or “bold“) originally meant “wild” or “savage.” 

That said, bravo’s origin is a little fuzzy. It’s believed that the English language borrowed the French version, brave, with its meaning of “courageous.” 

The most obvious derivation puts it from Medieval Latin bravus (meaning “cutthroat” or “villain”) — a reduction of the classical Latin pravus (meaning “crooked” or “depraved”). 

Of course, all of these theories are just speculative. 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Bravo?

Bravo is an interjection that is commonly used when praising a performer, but what are the synonyms and antonyms?

In short, a synonym is a word or phrase that has nearly the same or exactly the same meaning as another word or phrase. An antonym, on the other hand, is a word or phrase of the opposite meaning. 

Synonyms of Bravo

  • Top effort
  • Approve
  • Shouting
  • Cry
  • Assassin 
  • Tough guy
  • Roar 
  • Raves
  • Booty boy
  • Acclaim 
  • Gangbanger
  • Nice work
  • Criminal 
  • Fine job
  • Great effort
  • Keep it up
  • Bravi 
  • Good going
  • Great work
  • There you go
  • Good wishes
  • Right on
  • Desperado 
  • Nice job
  • Killer 
  • Full marks
  • Good on you
  • Hooray
  • Hitman 
  • Bravissimo 
  • Brava 
  • Nice one
  • Encore 
  • Way to go 
  • Good for you
  • Hats off
  • Cheers
  • Hurrah
  • Bully
  • Great
  • Clipper
  • Dispatcher 
  • Hired gun
  • Hitman
  • liquidator
  • Hired killer 

Antonyms of Bravo

  • Womp womp
  • Booing
  • I’m sorry 
  • That’s a shame 
  • Jeering 
  • Dead-end job
  • Awful work
  • Scoffing 
  • Never mind 
  • Better luck next time 
  • Sarcasm
  • What a shame
  • Commiserations 
  • Bad luck 
  • Complete failure
  • Bronx cheer
  • Horrible job
  • Flop
  • I’m sorry to hear
  • Bad work
  • Poor job
  • Chastise
  • Anguish
  • Hard luck 

How Can You Use Bravo in a Sentence?

Now that you’re familiar with what our word of the day means, it’s time to practice using it in a sentence. Test yourself to see how many sentences you can conjure up using the word bravo or feel free to explore our usage examples listed below:

“Long after they finished their performance the crowd continued to shout ‘bravo’ and clap.”

“Becca clapped profusely and shouted ‘bravo’ as her brother took a bow.”

“My teacher told me that the word bravado ultimately traces back to the old Italian adjective bravo, which simply means wild or courageous.”

“The spectacular performance was met with a cheering fans shouting ‘bravo’ and a loud round of applause.”

“Did you know that the word bravo can refer to a villain, like a hired killer or bandit?”

“At the end of my speech, my mom stood from her seat and yelled ‘bravo.’”

“The movie was pretty terrible — in other words, I was not surprised that the end was met with silence as opposed to applause and people shouting ‘bravo.’”

“My golden retriever only eats Bravo dog food because it’s full of nourishing ingredients to support strong bones and joints.”

“Did you know that bravo stands for the letter B?”

“Despite getting a horrible rating, there were a few spectators in the crowd who shouted bravo as the curtain closed.”

What Are Translations of Bravo?

Wondering how to say our word of the day in a different language? Translations for bravo include:

  • Russian — Браво
  • Arabic — مرحى كهاتف استحسان
  • Turkish — (ünlem) bravo!, helal olsun!
  • Swedish — lejd våldsman
  • Hindi — शाबाश
  • Italian — bravo
  • Greek — Μπράβο, Εύγε!
  • Japanese — ブラボー
  • Thai — ไชโย, เยี่ยม, วิเศษ
  • Chinese (traditional) — (喝采聲) 好!, 真棒!
  • Vietnamese — hoan hô, người đi ám sát
  • Spanish — bravo 

What Is the ICAO Phonetic Alphabet?

The International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet (ICAO) — AKA the NATO phonetic alphabet — has assigned code words to the 26 letters of the English alphabet with “bravo” representing the letter “B.” 

According to the Nations Online, the phonetic alphabet for international communication is as follows:  

  • A: Alpha
  • B: Bravo
  • C: Charlie
  • D: Delta
  • E: Echo
  • F: Foxtrot
  • G: Golf
  • H: Hotel
  • I: India
  • J: Juliet
  • K: Kilo
  • L: Lima
  • M: Mike
  • N: November
  • O: Oscar
  • P: Papa
  • Q: Quebec
  • R: Romeo
  • S: Sierra
  • T: Tango
  • U: Uniform
  • V: Victor
  • W: Whiskey
  • X: X-ray
  • Y: Yankee
  • Z: Zulu


We hope that now you have a better understanding of all things bravo. 

From being the code word for the letter “B” in the ICAO spelling alphabet and a common interjection used to praise a performer, it’s easy to see how the word bravo can be used in a couple of different ways. Bravo can also mean an assassin or murderer.

Interested in discovering more interesting words and their definitions? Head on over to our website where you’ll find new terms, informative blogs, useful grammar tools, and more. 

Whether you’re looking to expand your existing vocabulary or simply trying to make sense of a confusing word, you can always count on The Word Counter to have your back.  


BRAVO | Cambridge English Dictionary 

BRAVO English Definition and Meaning |

Bravo definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

International Spelling Alphabet | Nations Online