milquetoast

play
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!

Did You Know?

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


First Known Use: 1935


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up milquetoast? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

clear to the understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!