cowardice

noun
cow·​ard·​ice | \ ˈkau̇(-ə)r-dəs How to pronounce cowardice (audio) , dialectal -(ˌ)dīs\

Definition of cowardice

: lack of courage or firmness of purpose soldiers accused of cowardice

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Examples of cowardice in a Sentence

the cowardice shown by political leaders who were willing to give the Nazis whatever they wanted

Recent Examples on the Web

Part of you fantasizes about slipping into that gap—between the false, righteous public self and the inner chaos of shame, cowardice, bad faith—and vanishing altogether. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "Notes on Cancel Culture," 1 July 2019 Our children will inherit our obfuscations, produced out of cowardice or avarice or for political gain. Bathsheba Demuth, BostonGlobe.com, "Chernobyl reminds us of the tragic cost of lies," 28 June 2019 Even considering the razing of Columbine High School is an idiotic act of cowardice. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Columbine High School’s future; A vote to diminish your vote; Artistic interpretation (6/12/19)," 12 June 2019 Can a police officer be arrested, charged, tried and sentenced for alleged cowardice? Andrew Boryga, sun-sentinel.com, "Former school cop Scot Peterson: He’s been called a coward, but is that a crime?," 7 June 2019 Students at Middlebury College gave the school’s administrators a lesson this week in the difference between cowardice and courage when dealing with a controversial speaker. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Cowardice and Courage at Middlebury," 19 Apr. 2019 The performances would stereotype black men and women as ignorant, hypersexual, superstitious, lazy people who were prone to thievery and cowardice. Jesse J. Holland, The Seattle Times, "Explaining the outrage: Racist history of American blackface began in the 1830s," 6 Feb. 2019 Naturally, many of them concerned the identity of who wrote the op-ed: But while many of the memes focused on guesswork, even more of them focused on calling out what lots of people saw as the deep hypocrisy and cowardice on the part of the writer. Aja Romano, Vox, "That New York Times op-ed may not have given us hope — but it did give us memes," 6 Sep. 2018 Or is human behavior in these matters—courage or cowardice, selfishness or sacrifice—an unchangeable basic over the centuries, unaffected by politics or ideology? Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Did Chivalry Go Down With the Titanic?," 14 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cowardice.' 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 cowardice

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cowardice

Middle English cowardise, from Anglo-French coardise, from cuard — see coward

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Dictionary Entries near cowardice

cowanyoung

coward

Coward

cowardice

cowardly

cowardness

cowbane

Statistics for cowardice

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for cowardice

The first known use of cowardice was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for cowardice

cowardice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cowardice

: fear that makes you unable to do what is right or expected : lack of courage

cowardice

noun
cow·​ard·​ice | \ ˈkau̇-ər-dəs How to pronounce cowardice (audio) \

Kids Definition of cowardice

: shameful fear

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Comments on cowardice

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