1

cowardly

adverb cow·ard·ly \ ˈkau̇(-ə)rd-lē \

Definition of cowardly

:in a cowardly manner

Recent Examples of cowardly from the Web

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

First Known Use of cowardly

14th century


2

cowardly

adjective

Definition of cowardly

:being, resembling, or befitting a coward
  • a cowardly retreat

cowardliness

noun

Examples of cowardly in a Sentence

  1. He insisted on avoiding a cowardly retreat.

  2. She made a cowardly decision to go along with the group.

  3. a cowardly attack from behind

Recent Examples of cowardly from the Web

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

First Known Use of cowardly

1551

Synonym Discussion of cowardly

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

COWARDLY Defined for English Language Learners

cowardly

adjective

Definition of cowardly for English Language Learners

  • : afraid in a way that makes you unable to do what is right or expected : lacking courage


COWARDLY Defined for Kids

cowardly

adjective cow·ard·ly \ ˈkau̇-ərd-lē \

Definition of cowardly for Students

1 :shamefully fearful
  • a cowardly traitor
2 :showing shameful fear
  • Then he … said how hard-hearted and cowardly it was to hurt the weak …
  • —Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

cowardliness

noun


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