timorous

adjective tim·o·rous \ ˈti-mə-rəs , 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

timorously

adverb

timorousness

noun

timorous was our Word of the Day on 03/23/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of timorous in a Sentence

  1. a shy and timorous teenager

  2. He spoke with a timorous voice.

Recent Examples of timorous from the Web

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.

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 (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").

Origin and Etymology of timorous

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


TIMOROUS Defined for English Language Learners

timorous

adjective

Definition of timorous for English Language Learners

  • : easily frightened


TIMOROUS Defined for Kids

timorous

adjective tim·o·rous \ ˈti-mə-rəs \

Definition of timorous for Students

:easily frightened :fearful

timorously

adverb


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