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 After the charges were announced, Linda Sarsour, co-founder of Until Freedom, said justice had not been served and called Cameron a coward. NBC News, "Breonna Taylor's supporters disappointed only 1 of the officers involved was charged," 23 Sep. 2020 This is an amazing body of work that paints this mythical aura around Jesse James while expressing the tortured soul within the coward Robert Ford. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "40 greatest film scores of all time," 6 Sep. 2020 For this masquerade, he had been mercilessly lampooned in Northern caricature as a coward in drag—portrayed in hoopskirts and a ludicrous bonnet. Harold Holzer, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Northern Publishers Cashed In on Fundraising for Confederate Monuments," 7 July 2020 Carlson, who has never served in the military, called this veteran, who lost both of her legs fighting in the Iraq War, a fraud, a vandal and — maybe most remarkably — a coward. Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, "Tucker Carlson’s attacks on Sen. Tammy Duckworth are as disgusting as they are predictable," 8 July 2020 Zayer, 20, called D’Andraia a coward and suggested the assault would only deepen mistrust of law enforcement. Marina Villeneuve, Time, "New York Moves Swiftly Toward Eliminating Police Secrecy Law," 9 June 2020 There are two kinds of people: cowards and psychos. Caity Weaver, New York Times, "How to Make Your Work-Neighbors Be Quiet (In 3 Lies or Less)," 2 Apr. 2020 There are those who say Bloomberg had to accept the invitation to debate or risk being branded a coward. Willie Brown,, "Mike Bloomberg can still beat Trump. But he has no business on a debate stage," 22 Feb. 2020 This coward did not stop my cause but instead invigorated me to educate more people in our district on cultural awareness, inherent bias, and treating others with dignity and respect. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "School board candidate drops out of election following racism, harassment," 21 Feb. 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

3 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for coward


How to pronounce Coward (audio)

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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