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[hwahyt-liv-erd, wahyt-] /ˈʰwaɪtˈlɪv ərd, ˈwaɪt-/
lacking courage; cowardly; lily-livered.
lacking in vitality or spirit; pale; unhealthy.
Origin of white-livered
First recorded in 1540-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for white-livered
Historical Examples
  • Do let us hear, by all means, what the white-livered fellow has to say for himself.

  • But if that white-livered hound had stood by me, I'd have beaten the lot of you!

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice
  • They may say what they like, but compared with him, Alp Arslan is a white-livered Giaour.'

    Alroy Benjamin Disraeli
  • And the white-livered accomplice is dithering with funk in there.

    Ambrotox and Limping Dick Oliver Fleming
  • His mother was one of them white-livered Lulls, from Pomfret.

  • I was a fool ever to have got mixed up with such a white-livered, puling baby.

    Ted and the Telephone Sara Ware Bassett
  • I've been damning you for a white-livered Austrian up and down the house.

    Sandra Belloni, Complete George Meredith
  • Don't thee be white-livered, Emily, or say owt for which you'll be sorry afterwards.

    The Day of Judgment

    Joseph Hocking
  • Men, of all the white-livered traitors as ever was Red Pearce was the worst!

    The Border Legion Zane Grey
  • Stealing the bread out of working men's mouths, you white-livered scab!

    Mountain Clement Wood
British Dictionary definitions for white-livered


lacking in spirit or courage
pallid and unhealthy in appearance
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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