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 The horse also catches the eye of the dastardly Hendricks (Walton Goggins), who sets about rounding up Spirit and his herd, intending to sell the wild animals for profit. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 4 June 2021 The horse also catches the eye of the dastardly Hendricks (Walton Goggins), who sets about rounding up Spirit and his herd, intending to sell the wild animals for profit. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 Okay, kidding aside, once Teddy reveals his dastardly plan Alicia takes his gun and points it at him. Erik Kain, Forbes, 24 May 2021 Nakajima hadn’t needed to write code or orchestrate a dastardly plan to persuade people to follow a mirage. Washington Post, 11 May 2021 So let’s offer him a national platform to defend his dastardly deeds! Meghana Indurti, The New Yorker, 8 May 2021 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, 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, 22 Feb. 2021 In other words, a dastardly device that beams bursts of microwave radiation at people’s heads. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 10 Dec. 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

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The first known use of dastardly was in 1542

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dastardly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dastardly. Accessed 19 Jun. 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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