milquetoast

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noun milque·toast \ˈmilk-ˌtōst\

Definition of milquetoast

  1. :  a timid, meek, or unassertive person

milquetoast was our Word of the Day on 05/26/2016. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of milquetoast from the Web

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

Why is it milquetoast, and not milk toast?

Caspar Milquetoast was a comic strip character created in 1924 by the American cartoonist Harold T. Webster. The strip, called "The Timid Soul," ran every Sunday in the New York Herald Tribune for many years. Webster, who claimed that Milquetoast was a self-portrait, summed up the character as "the man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick." The earliest examples for Milquetoast used as a generic synonym for "timid person" date from the mid-1930s. Caspar's last name might remind you of "milk toast," a bland concoction of buttered toast served in a dish of warm milk.

Origin and Etymology of milquetoast

Caspar Milquetoast, comic strip character created by H. T. Webster †1952 American cartoonist


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an extremely thin woman

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