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dastardly

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adjective das·tard·ly \-lē\

Simple Definition of dastardly

  • : very cruel : using tricks to hurt people

Full Definition of dastardly

  1. 1 :  cowardly

  2. 2 :  characterized by underhandedness or treachery <a dastardly attack> <a dastardly villain>

das·tard·li·ness noun

Examples of dastardly

  1. a dastardly attack on innocent civilians

  2. <his dastardly conduct in a critical moment haunted him for the rest of his life>



1542

First Known Use of dastardly

1542

Synonym Discussion of dastardly

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>.

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