- cowardly; contemptibly timid; pusillanimous.
- a coward.
- to make cowardly.
- cry craven, to yield; capitulate; give up.
Origin of craven
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cravenness
She had a fine spirit; it did not know defeat or cravenness.Double Harness
They stood ready to obey his slightest wish––not with cravenness, but with quick reversion to the faith of their ancestors.The Web of the Golden Spider
Frederick Orin Bartlett
It is very frequently set down as pusillanimity and cravenness of spirit.Friends and Neighbors
The boy was the bear-hunter in miniature, strong and hearty, and a stranger to all cravenness.Boris the Bear-Hunter
- cowardly; mean-spirited
- a coward
Word Origin and History for cravenness
early 13c., cravant, perhaps from Old French crevante "defeated," past participle of cravanter "to strike down, to fall down," from Latin crepare "to crack, creak." Sense affected by crave and moved from "defeated" to "cowardly" (c.1400) perhaps via intermediary sense of "confess oneself defeated." Related: Cravenly; cravenness.