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yellow streak

noun, Informal.
a trait of cowardice in a person's character.
Origin of yellow streak
An Americanism dating back to 1910-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for yellow streak
Historical Examples
  • Show 'em that the yellow streak can lick anything on this hill.

    The Rover Boys on a Hunt Arthur M. Winfield (Edward Stratemeyer)
  • He said the yellow streak could beat any thing in this vicinity.

    The Rover Boys on a Hunt Arthur M. Winfield (Edward Stratemeyer)
  • Here is where Glutts shows 'em what the yellow streak can do!

    The Rover Boys on a Hunt Arthur M. Winfield (Edward Stratemeyer)
  • But I always suspected he had a yellow streak in him and this proves it.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • This wouldn't have happened and fellows would have said you had a yellow streak.

    Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour
  • I always said that joker had a yellow streak in him somewhere, and that was where he showed it.

    The Viking Blood

    Frederick William Wallace
  • It is astonishing how quickly this "yellow streak" in the population faded.

    The Old World in the New Edward Alsworth Ross
  • I was afraid all along you had a yellow streak, and now I know it.

    Center Rush Rowland

    Ralph Henry Barbour
  • You can't tell when anyone will develop a yellow streak, you know.

    The Onslaught from Rigel Fletcher Pratt
  • No “yellow streak” there, but clear grit through and through.

British Dictionary definitions for yellow streak

yellow streak

(informal) a cowardly or weak trait, characteristic, or flaw in a person's nature
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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