- a wretched coward; craven.
- marked by utter cowardice.
Origin of poltroon
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for poltroon
He was certainly no poltroon, but he felt that she was right.
"I am not a poltroon though," he said to himself as he finished dressing.Therese Raquin
He had slipped away like the poltroon that he was, leaving Peter to his fate.The Vagrant Duke
This is the charge which will always make the poltroon squirm.Henry IV, Makers of History
John S. C. Abbott
If it was that poltroon, Ferdinand, I would have him thrown out by my lackeys.Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess
Henry W. Fischer
- an abject or contemptible coward
- a rare word for cowardly
Word Origin and History for poltroon
"A coward; a nidgit; a scoundrel" [Johnson, who spells it poltron], 1520s, from Middle French poultron "rascal, coward" (16c., Modern French poltron), from Italian poltrone "lazy fellow, coward," apparently from *poltro "couch, bed" (cf. Milanese polter, Venetian poltrona "couch"), perhaps from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German polstar "pillow;" see bolster (n.)). Cf. also -oon.