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[chik-uh n-hahr-tid]
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adjective Informal.
  1. timid; fearful; cowardly.
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Origin of chicken-hearted

An Americanism dating back to 1675–85
Related formschick·en-heart·ed·ly, adverbchick·en-heart·ed·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for chicken-hearted

Historical Examples

  • That's just like a girl—they're so thin-skinned and chicken-hearted.

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Say, you're not losing your nerve, you chicken-hearted rabbit, are you?

    Skippy Bedelle

    Owen Johnson

  • Why, they turned out to be kind of chicken-hearted after all.

  • He is too chicken-hearted for that, or for anything else that requires pluck.

    Recollections of a Policeman

    William Russell (aka Thomas Waters)

  • What a chicken-hearted fellow her father must have thought me!

British Dictionary definitions for chicken-hearted



  1. easily frightened; cowardly
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Derived Formschicken-heartedly, adverbchicken-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