verb cow·er \ˈka(-ə)r\

: to move back or bend your body down because you are afraid

Full Definition of COWER

intransitive verb
:  to shrink away or crouch especially for shelter from something that menaces, domineers, or dismays

Examples of COWER

  1. They cowered at the sight of the gun.
  2. She was cowering in the closet.
  3. I cowered behind the door.

Origin of COWER

Middle English couren, probably from Middle Low German kūren
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of COWER

fawn, toady, truckle, cringe, cower mean to behave abjectly before a superior. fawn implies seeking favor by servile flattery or exaggerated attention <waiters fawning over a celebrity>. toady suggests the attempt to ingratiate oneself by an abjectly menial or subservient attitude <toadying to his boss>. truckle implies the subordination of oneself and one's desires or judgment to those of a superior <truckling to a powerful lobbyist>. cringe suggests a bowing or shrinking in fear or servility <a cringing sycophant>. cower suggests a display of abject fear in the company of threatening or domineering people <cowering before a bully>.
COWER Defined for Kids


verb cow·er \ˈka-ər\

Definition of COWER for Kids

:  to shrink away or crouch down shivering (as from fear) <The thunder made our dog cower.>


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