pu·​sil·​la·​nim·​i·​ty ˌpyü-sə-lə-ˈni-mə-tē How to pronounce pusillanimity (audio)
 also  ˌpyü-zə-
: the quality or state of being pusillanimous : cowardliness

Examples of pusillanimity in a Sentence

the pusillanimity shown by the press on this issue after the administration began applying pressure
Recent Examples on the Web What a profile in pusillanimity. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 23 May 2022 Our logrolling, our stumps and their politics, our fisheries, our Negroes and Indians, our boasts and our repudiations, the wrath of rogues and the pusillanimity of honest men, the northern trade, the southern planting, the western clearing, Oregon, and Texas, are yet unsung. Mark Edmundson, Harper’s Magazine , 12 Dec. 2022 Even the turbulent Vietnam era didn’t inspire such pusillanimity. Matthew Hennessey, WSJ, 10 Mar. 2022 The pusillanimity of American corporations on this subject continues to astound. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 26 Dec. 2021 First civil-rights groups accused it of pusillanimity. The Economist, 14 Apr. 2021 It is often said that, given the rank pusillanimity of most politicians, such backsliding is inevitable. Rich Lowry, National Review, 26 Mar. 2021 On the Republican side, strategic calculations ahead of the Georgia runoffs are reinforcing the pusillanimity that many officials are displaying. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2020 But confusing markets with might is exactly the sort of pusillanimity that drives Macron crazy, and amuses Russian President Vladimir Putin. Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pusillanimity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pusillanimity was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pusillanimity

Cite this Entry

“Pusillanimity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pusillanimity. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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