cower

play
verb cow·er \ˈkau̇(-ə)r\

Definition of cower

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to shrink away or crouch especially for shelter from something that menaces, domineers, or dismays <They all cowered silently in their places, seeming to know in advance that some terrible thing was about to happen. — George Orwell>

Examples of cower in a sentence

  1. They cowered at the sight of the gun.

  2. She was cowering in the closet.

  3. I cowered behind the door.

Origin and Etymology of cower

Middle English couren, probably from Middle Low German kūren


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of cower

fawn, toady, truckle, cringe, cower mean to behave abjectly before a superior. fawn implies seeking favor by servile flattery or exaggerated attention <waiters fawning over a celebrity>. toady suggests the attempt to ingratiate oneself by an abjectly menial or subservient attitude <toadying to his boss>. truckle implies the subordination of oneself and one's desires or judgment to those of a superior <truckling to a powerful lobbyist>. cringe suggests a bowing or shrinking in fear or servility <a cringing sycophant>. cower suggests a display of abject fear in the company of threatening or domineering people <cowering before a bully>.

COWER Defined for English Language Learners

cower

play
verb cow·er \ˈkau̇(-ə)r\

Definition of cower for English Language Learners

  • : to move back or bend your body down because you are afraid


COWER Defined for Kids

cower

play
verb cow·er \ˈkau̇-ər\

Definition of cower for Students

cowered

cowering

  1. :  to shrink away or crouch down shivering (as from fear) <The thunder made our dog cower.>



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