coward

noun
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

Coward

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from coward

Noun

coward adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for coward

Synonyms: Noun

chicken, craven, cur, dastard, funk, poltroon, recreant, sissy

Antonyms: Noun

hero, stalwart, valiant

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Cast Laverne Cox in the next Marvel movie, you cowards. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "The Met Gala 2019 Memes That Had Us Cackling Over Camp," 7 May 2019 The same goes for every coward masquerading as a political leader in this country who takes money and marching orders from the NRA. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "What's the Right Way to Respond to a School Shooting?," 15 Feb. 2018 Like the schoolyard bully, our criminal justice system harasses people on small pretexts but is exposed as a coward before murder. German Lopez, Vox, "Protesters plan to block a busy road to draw attention to the high rates of violence in parts of the city.," 2 Aug. 2018 At the time, any American politician seen as too friendly to London was regarded as a supine coward. Robert Mitchell, Washington Post, "The fake letter historians believe tipped a presidential election," 21 June 2018 Until this point, soldiers bearing psychic wounds tended to be dismissed by the military as cowards and malingerers. New York Times, "The Wounds of the Drone Warrior," 13 June 2018 Bill Cosby is a low-life, depraved liar and coward. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Cosby Survivor Lili Bernard: ‘I’m Not Afraid Anymore’," 28 Apr. 2018 Williams called out the author for failing to cite any instance of unethical behavior and for being cowards. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Dirty politics? Legislator says flier falsely links her to Mike Sanders' corruption | The Kansas City Star," 23 May 2018 Gilbert wrote a nasty letter, calling James a narcissist and a coward. SFChronicle.com, "If LeBron James goes to Lakers, he’ll battle Warriors for West — and California," 30 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of coward

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coward

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coward

Dictionary Entries near coward

cow's-tail

cowan

cowanyoung

coward

Coward

cowardice

cowardly

Statistics for coward

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coward

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for coward

coward

noun

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

coward

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

Kids Definition of coward

: a person who shows shameful fear

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on coward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coward

Spanish Central: Translation of coward

Nglish: Translation of coward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on coward

What made you want to look up coward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!