put on a brave face

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put on a brave face

1. To appear or make oneself seem more courageous, resolute, or dauntless than one really feels. I could feel my knees shaking with terror before my commencement speech, but I put on a brave face and stepped out onto the stage to deliver it. This girl I'm dating has a big dog that I'm really scared of, but I'm trying to put on a brave face when it's around.
2. To react to or face difficulties, setbacks, or adversity with high spirits or good cheer. John's been putting on a brave face since his diagnosis, taking it one day at a time. I really didn't want to spend Thanksgiving with my wife's parents, but I put on a brave face and suffered through it with a smile.
See also: brave, face, on, put

brave face, put on a

Also, put up a brave front.
1. Face adversity cheerfully. For example, Even though she had been passed over for promotion, she put on a brave face.
2. Try to appear brave even though very frightened. For example, Harry was terrified of animals, but his boss was a dog lover, so he put up a brave front . [Second half of 1800s]
See also: brave, on, put