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[chik-uh n-hahr-tid] /ˈtʃɪk ənˈhɑr tɪd/
adjective, Informal.
timid; fearful; cowardly.
Origin of chicken-hearted
An Americanism dating back to 1675-85
Related forms
chicken-heartedly, adverb
chicken-heartedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chicken-hearted
Historical Examples
  • He is too chicken-hearted for that, or for anything else that requires pluck.

    Recollections of a Policeman William Russell (aka Thomas Waters)
  • That's just like a girl—they're so thin-skinned and chicken-hearted.

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • These ten thousand were not chicken-hearted nor downhearted.

    Quiet Talks on Service S. D. Gordon
  • Say, you're not losing your nerve, you chicken-hearted rabbit, are you?

    Skippy Bedelle Owen Johnson
  • Out on you, you chicken-hearted swab, to sulk and fret like a babe new weaned!

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Why, they turned out to be kind of chicken-hearted after all.

  • But others don't know you as well as I do, and there's plenty of them would think you were chicken-hearted.

    Grif B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • "I didn't think you were soft, or chicken-hearted," he said.

    The Sweep Winner Nat Gould
  • That sort of thing tends to make the Anglo-Saxon chicken-hearted in dealing with them.

    Unfettered Sutton E. Griggs
  • I always was chicken-hearted when a fellow seemed down on his luck.

    Her Prairie Knight B.M. Sinclair, AKA B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for chicken-hearted


easily frightened; cowardly
Derived Forms
chicken-heartedly, adverb
chicken-heartedness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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