AskDefine | Define bravado

Dictionary Definition

bravado n : a swaggering show of courage [syn: bluster] [also: bravadoes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



bravado (plural bravados or bravadoes)
  1. A swaggering show of defiance or courage.
    The angry customer stood in the middle of the showroom and voiced his complaints with loud bravado.
  2. A false show of courage.


a show of defiance or courage
a false show of courage

Extensive Definition


Jim Douglas is a rancher who has been pursuing for six months the four outlaws who murdered his wife. He rides into a town where four men fitting the description are in jail awaiting execution, so that he can see the hanging. The town has issued instructions to only allow the hangman to enter, so Jim is taken to the sheriff's office to state his business. The town had never had an execution before, so they brought in a man from outside town to do the job. The sheriff allows Jim into the jail to see the men, who say that they had never seen him before, but he has the face of a hunter. In town Jim meets Josefa Velarde, who he had met five years previously in New Orleans but hadn't seen since. Through their conversation we learn that she was husband hunting when they knew before, but she had been looking after her father's ranch since he died. Jim reveals to her that he has a daughter. Other inhabitants of the town include businessman Gus Steimmetz, his daughter Emma and her finacé Tom. The executioner arrives the same day.
While the town is at church attending the evening mass, which Jim attends with Josefa, the four men escape, with the aid of the executioner who is an accomplice. The executioner stabs the sheriff, who in turn shoots him dead. They capture Emma, who has left the church to return to her father's store, and take her with them. The wounded sheriff comes into the church during the service and tells the townspeople that the prisoners have escaped. The townspeople then enlist Jim's aid to track them down.
Jim corners one of the men in a grass field, who pleads for his life before Jim kills him. Then Jim ropes another man by the feet and hangs him upside-down from a tree. The two remaining men head reach the house of John Butler, a prospector and Jim's neighbour. They kill him and steal the gold he tried to run off with, but they see someone approaching in the distance and leave in a panic, leaving Em behind. The people coming turn out to be Josefa and Jim, coming from different directions. Jim identifies the body, and the posse arrives and finds Emma in the house. Jim tells the posse to ride on while he goes back to his ranch to get fresh horses.
However, when Jim arrives home, he hears that one of the men he is pursuing had taken the last horse. Leaving Josefa with his daughter, he rejoins the posse. When they arrive at the Mexican border, Jim goes on alone. He finds one of the men in a bar and kills him. He then goes on to the home of the fourth man. However, while talking with the man, Jim realizes that he had been pursuing the wrong men, for although the men were justly convicted for murder, they had nothing to do with his wife's death. Indeed, when he showed each of them a picture of his wife, all of them denied ever having seen her. Jim realizes that he is no better than the men he has been pursuing, having killed in cold blood, and he returns to town and goes to the church to beg forgiveness. The priest says that he did what he felt was right. Josefa then arrives with Jim's daughter, and as they exit the church together, the sheriff, who has recovered, thanks Jim for his service to the town.

External links

bravado in German: Bravados
bravado in Portuguese: The Bravados
bravado in Russian: Бравадос (фильм)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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