[ chik-uhn-shit ]

  1. boring or annoying details or unimportant tasks.

  1. obsessed with petty details.

  2. menial or petty.

  1. cowardly or fainthearted.

Origin of chickenshit

1945–50; Americanism

Words Nearby chickenshit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chickenshit in a sentence

  • I stood frozen in the kitchen and strongly considered flight, but in a pulse of character development worthy of Elyse herself, I bested my chickenshit heart and hustled to pursue Molly Khan, who had exited not only the room but the house.

Other Idioms and Phrases with chickenshit


Contemptibly petty or insignificant. For example, He has spent his life making up chicken shit rules that nobody follows anyway. This expression gained currency during World War II, when it was often applied to the enforcement of petty and disagreeable military regulations. [Vulgar slang; c. 1930]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.