Definition of pusillanimous
: lacking courage and resolution : marked by contemptible timidity
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Examples of pusillanimous in a sentence
pusillanimous politicians who vote according to whichever way the political wind is blowing
Did You Know?
Do you know someone who has a small, weak spirit, someone whose reserve of inner strength is too small to draw from in times of danger and adversity? If so, you'll find pusillanimous to be the perfect descriptor for that person. The Latin roots of this derisive adjective are pusillus, meaning "very small" (and related to pusus, meaning "boy") and animus, which means "spirit" and is the ancestor to many words in our language, including "animal" and "animate." Pusillanimous first appeared in English in the 16th century, but it gained prominence in the 1970s when Vice President Spiro Agnew famously accused his ideological rivals of "pusillanimous pussyfooting." And despite what you may have heard, pusillanimous does not serve as the basis for pussyfoot, pussycat, or a certain related vulgarism.
Synonym Discussion of pusillanimous
PUSILLANIMOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pusillanimous for English Language Learners
: weak and afraid of danger
Learn More about pusillanimous
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pusillanimous
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