timorous

adjective
tim·​o·​rous | \ ˈti-mə-rəs How to pronounce timorous (audio) , ˈtim-rəs \

Definition of timorous

1 : of a timid disposition : fearful reproached myself with being so timorous and cautious— Daniel Defoe
2 : expressing or suggesting timidity proceed with doubtful and timorous steps— Edward Gibbon

Other Words from timorous

timorously adverb
timorousness noun

Did you know?

Timid and timorous don't just have similar spellings and meanings; they are etymologically related as well. Both words ultimately derive from the Latin verb timēre, meaning "to fear." The immediate ancestor of timid is Latin timidus (with the same meaning as timid), whereas timorous traveled to Middle English by way of the Latin noun timor ("fear") and the Medieval Latin adjective timorosus. Timid may be the more common of the two words, but timorous is older. It first appeared in English in the mid-15th century; timid came on the scene a century later. Both words can mean "easily frightened" (as in "a timid mouse" or "a timorous child") as well as "indicating or characterized by fear" (as in "he gave a timid smile" or "she took a timorous step forward").

Examples of timorous in a Sentence

a shy and timorous teenager He spoke with a timorous voice.
Recent Examples on the Web Abetted by the timorous LeFou (a funny John Sygar), Gaston schemes to bend Belle to his will. Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2021 All artists, even those who appear to be timorous, quavering messes, have a core of steel. David Salle, The New York Review of Books, 17 Dec. 2020 All artists, even those who appear to be timorous, quavering messes, have a core of steel. David Salle, The New York Review of Books, 17 Dec. 2020 All artists, even those who appear to be timorous, quavering messes, have a core of steel. David Salle, The New York Review of Books, 17 Dec. 2020 Orange County’s chief health officer quit after receiving death threats and little backing from a timorous Board of Supervisors. Los Angeles Times, 18 June 2021 There will always be a name to erase or a symbol to obliterate, and there will always be timorous functionaries willing to accommodate the ideological enforcers demanding it. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 13 June 2021 The former Indiana governor excoriated the timorous, risk-averse mindset that captured much of the elite in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 31 May 2021 The trick for Biden and the Democrats is to welcome timorous conservatives like Sasse back to the world of defenders of democracy without demanding humiliating public confessions from them. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 28 Dec. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of timorous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for timorous

Middle English, from Medieval Latin timorosus, from Latin timor fear, from timēre to fear

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The first known use of timorous was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near timorous

timoroso

timorous

timorsome

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Cite this Entry

“Timorous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timorous. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for timorous

timorous

adjective
tim·​o·​rous | \ ˈti-mə-rəs How to pronounce timorous (audio) \

Kids Definition of timorous

: easily frightened : fearful

Other Words from timorous

timorously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on timorous

Nglish: Translation of timorous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of timorous for Arabic Speakers

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