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1

cowardly

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adverb cow·ard·ly \-lē\

Definition of cowardly

  1. :  in a cowardly manner



14th Century

First Known Use of cowardly

14th century


2

cowardly

adjective cow·ard·ly

Simple Definition of cowardly

  • : afraid in a way that makes you unable to do what is right or expected : lacking courage

Full Definition of cowardly

  1. :  being, resembling, or befitting a coward <a cowardly retreat>

cow·ard·li·ness noun

Examples of cowardly

  1. He insisted on avoiding a cowardly retreat.

  2. She made a cowardly decision to go along with the group.

  3. a cowardly attack from behind



1551

First Known Use of cowardly

1551

Synonym Discussion of cowardly

cowardly, pusillanimous, craven, dastardly mean having or showing a lack of courage. cowardly implies a weak or ignoble lack of courage <a cowardly failure to stand up for principle>. pusillanimous suggests a contemptible lack of courage <the pusillanimous fear of a future full of possibility>. craven suggests extreme defeatism and complete lack of resistance <secretly despised her own craven yes-men>. dastardly often implies behavior that is both cowardly and treacherous or skulking or outrageous <a dastardly attack on unarmed civilians>.

COWARDLY Defined for Kids

cowardly

play
adjective cow·ard·ly \ˈkau̇-ərd-lē\

Definition of cowardly

  1. 1 :  shamefully fearful <a cowardly traitor>

  2. 2 :  showing shameful fear <Then he … said how hard-hearted and cowardly it was to hurt the weak … — Anna Sewell, Black Beauty>

cow·ard·li·ness noun




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