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bravado (noun) pretense of confidence; pretended courage.
Sometimes, when a person lacks confidence, they try to put up a show of confidence; they pretend to be confident and they make a pretense of courage. Such a show of courage or confidence while lacking it is bravado.
- When she finally began to cry and beg for help and mercy, the police understood that the bold face she had put up was just bravado.
- His bravado melted and his real nature as a coward and liar was revealed at the prospect of proofs of his misdeeds being produced. He begged for pity.