pusillanimous

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective pusillanimous differ from other similar words?

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

the pusillanimous fear of a future full of possibility

Where would cowardly be a reasonable alternative to pusillanimous?

In some situations, the words cowardly and pusillanimous are roughly equivalent. However, cowardly implies a weak or ignoble lack of courage.

a cowardly failure to stand up for principle

When might craven be a better fit than pusillanimous?

While the synonyms craven and pusillanimous are close in meaning, craven suggests extreme defeatism and complete lack of resistance.

secretly despised her own craven yes-men

In what contexts can dastardly take the place of pusillanimous?

The words dastardly and pusillanimous can be used in similar contexts, but dastardly often implies behavior that is both cowardly and treacherous or skulking or outrageous.

a dastardly attack on unarmed civilians

Podcast

Thesaurus Entries Near pusillanimous

Cite this Entry

“Pusillanimous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/pusillanimous. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY