cow·​ard | \ ˈkau̇(-ə)rd How to pronounce coward (audio) \

Definition of coward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one who shows disgraceful fear or timidity a coward who deserted his troops


biographical name
Cow·​ard | \ ˈkau̇(-ə)rd How to pronounce Coward (audio) \

Definition of Coward (Entry 2 of 2)

Sir Noël Peirce 1899–1973 English actor and dramatist

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Other Words from coward


coward adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for coward

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of coward in a Sentence

Noun a proven coward who had deserted his troops the soldiers who ran as soon as the first shots were fired were branded as cowards
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Against the odds, though, this middling coward finds a fortitude in himself, and is altered by the discovery. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Cold War Connections in “The Courier”," 15 Mar. 2021 Amira’s dad is right: Andrew is a coward who never even tried to find the detention center where Amira was being held. Ashley Ray-harris, Vulture, "90 Day Fiancé Recap: Losing the Plot," 1 Mar. 2021 The 1st District is Republican country, but hopefully a worthy opponent can take out this coward in next year's GOP primary. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, "The lynch mob," 17 Jan. 2021 His safe arrival split the country, with half praising his possibly lifesaving efforts and the other half assailing him as a coward. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Six norm-busting inaugurations that paved the way for Biden's," 14 Jan. 2021 And unfortunately, the coward that took his life does not have enough guts to answer the questions as to why my son's life was taken., "Casey Goodson’s Mother Finally Speaks Out: “My Son Was Murdered In Cold Blood”," 10 Dec. 2020 The discussion about cowardice highlights that the real coward of the episode remains Prince Charles, who seems to know in his heart that the match with Diana isn’t right but can’t seem to stop its inevitable march to the altar. Lauren Morgan,, "The Crown binge recap: Welcome to the Diana Years! (Episodes 1-4)," 18 Nov. 2020 Democrats mocked the decision, calling Perdue a coward. Washington Examiner, "Democrat Jon Ossoff challenges David Perdue to three debates as $500M Georgia run-off battles take center stage," 9 Nov. 2020 The cleric, Mawlawi Mujib Rahman Ansari, has also posted billboards declaring that any man whose wife does not completely cover herself in public is a coward. David Zucchino, New York Times, "A Radical Cleric Ignites an Islamist Resistance in Afghanistan," 22 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coward.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coward


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coward


Middle English, from Anglo-French cuard, from cue, coe tail, from Latin cauda

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Time Traveler for coward

Time Traveler

The first known use of coward was in the 13th century

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Statistics for coward

Last Updated

26 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for coward



English Language Learners Definition of coward

: someone who is too afraid to do what is right or expected : someone who is not at all brave or courageous


cow·​ard | \ ˈkau̇-ərd How to pronounce coward (audio) \

Kids Definition of coward

: a person who shows shameful fear

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Comments on coward

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