das·​tard·​ly | \ ˈda-stərd-lē How to pronounce dastardly (audio) \

Definition of dastardly

1 : cowardly
2 : characterized by underhandedness or treachery a dastardly attack a dastardly villain

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Other Words from dastardly

dastardliness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dastardly

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

Examples of dastardly in a Sentence

a dastardly attack on innocent civilians his dastardly conduct in a critical moment haunted him for the rest of his life
Recent Examples on the Web Director Richard Donner chronicles Kal-El’s origin story with awe, eventually introducing us to one of the best cinematic villains in the dastardly, smart-ass Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). Tim Grierson, Vulture, "Every DC Comics Movie, Ranked," 22 Mar. 2021 This is a movie about cricket, but while the rules of the game may be obscure to some viewers, the stakes are crystal clear: In 1893, a team of plucky Indian farmers face off against the dastardly Brits. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History," 22 Feb. 2021 In other words, a dastardly device that beams bursts of microwave radiation at people’s heads. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US diplomats’ brain injuries may be from covert microwave attack, experts say," 10 Dec. 2020 You’ve been loaded onto a strange vehicle, maneuvered by a dastardly man and his laughing dog. Felipe Torres Medina, The New Yorker, "How to Vote by Mail," 8 Oct. 2020 The plot revolves around a retired police chief who sets out to catch a dastardly thief—with the help of two lesser criminals. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "26 Bollywood Movies to Move to the Top of Your Watch List," 5 Oct. 2020 The tropical genus Bocydium, for instance, has a protrusion that looks like the dastardly Ophiocordyceps fungus, which infects ants and takes over their central nervous system—perhaps a sign that potential predators should stay away. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Insect With ‘Wacky Fashion Sense’ Named After Lady Gaga," 17 Mar. 2020 In another universe, if Trump were urging Democrats to stay away from the polls and instead use a method more likely to get their votes discarded, it’d be attacked as a dastardly voter-suppression scheme. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Democrats Should Curb Their Enthusiasm for Mail-in Voting," 4 Sep. 2020 In posts on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, he is being falsely portrayed as the creator of COVID-19, as a profiteer from a virus vaccine, and as part of a dastardly plot to use the illness to cull or surveil the global population. Marc Tracy, BostonGlobe.com, "Bill Gates, at odds with Trump on virus, becomes a right-wing target," 17 Apr. 2020

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

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for dastardly

Time Traveler

The first known use of dastardly was in 1542

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Statistics for dastardly

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dastardly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dastardly. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for dastardly



English Language Learners Definition of dastardly

old-fashioned : very cruel : using tricks to hurt people


das·​tard·​ly | \ ˈda-stərd-lē How to pronounce dastardly (audio) \

Kids Definition of dastardly

: very mean and tricky a dastardly deed They nabbed the dastardly traitor.

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