Synonyms & Antonyms of craven

(Entry 1 of 2)

having or showing a shameful lack of courage
  • a craven refusal to deliver the unwelcome news personally

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Synonyms & Antonyms of craven (Entry 2 of 2)

a person who shows a shameful lack of courage in the face of danger
  • a craven who ran away and left everyone else behind to deal with the crisis

Synonyms for craven

Words Related to craven

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Frequently Asked Questions About craven

How does the adjective craven differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of craven are cowardly, dastardly, and pusillanimous. While all these words mean "having or showing a lack of courage," craven suggests extreme defeatism and complete lack of resistance.

secretly despised her own craven yes-men

When can cowardly be used instead of craven?

The words cowardly and craven can be used in similar contexts, but cowardly implies a weak or ignoble lack of courage.

a cowardly failure to stand up for principle

When could dastardly be used to replace craven?

Although the words dastardly and craven have much in common, dastardly often implies behavior that is both cowardly and treacherous or skulking or outrageous.

a dastardly attack on unarmed civilians

In what contexts can pusillanimous take the place of craven?

While in some cases nearly identical to craven, pusillanimous suggests a contemptible lack of courage.

the pusillanimous fear of a future full of possibility

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Time Traveler for craven

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The first known use of craven was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Craven.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on craven

Nglish: Translation of craven for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of craven for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about craven


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