das·tard·ly | \-lē \

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

By Barry Meier If not for the dastardly backstory, this could have been a tale of marketing genius. Sarah Mupo, STAT, "The 39 best health and science books to read this summer," 25 June 2018 The administration behaved as any coward would, by tucking tail and running from this dastardly practice. Jenice Armstrong, Philly.com, "Don't be distracted from the immigration crisis by Melania Trump's fake fashion choice | Jenice Armstrong," 21 June 2018 Whether explaining his dastardly plans to the audience or whispering sweet poison into Othello’s ear, this Iago’s manner is usually jocular and expository. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: A Cool-Tempered ‘Othello’ for Warm Central Park Nights," 18 June 2018 The dastardly weed has been reported in several counties, including Middlesex County, Clarke County and Shenandoah County, reports Mathew Diebel of USA Today. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Towering, Toxic Plant that Causes Burns and Blindness Has Appeared in Virginia," 20 June 2018 Fortunately, Bird has faced such dastardly road blocks before. USA TODAY, "Inside 'Incredibles 2' major villain problem - and how director Brad Bird fixed it," 13 June 2018 Rust Remover Rust stains are dastardly to get out, and unfortunately most off-the-shelf rust removers are full of harsh chemicals. Jolie Kerr, Country Living, "6 DIY Cleaning Products You Can Easily Make at Home," 19 Mar. 2015 There are loud arguments, fraught encounters, dastardly threats and exhilarating acts of heroism. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Frontier Justice In 'Flyin' West' At Westport Playhouse," 5 June 2018 Instead of killing off Philip, Elizabeth, Paige, and/or Henry Jennings as some kind of punishment for all the dastardly espionage, the writers took a more circumspect approach. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "The ever-improving art of the perfect ending," 31 May 2018

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

The first known use of dastardly was in 1542

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English Language Learners Definition of dastardly

: very cruel : using tricks to hurt people


das·tard·ly | \ˈda-stərd-lē \

Kids Definition of dastardly

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

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