[ kou-er-dis ]
/ ˈkaʊ ər dɪs /


lack of courage to face danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.

Origin of cowardice

1250–1300; Middle English cowardise < Old French co(u)ardise, equivalent to co(u)art cowardly (see coward) + -ise -ice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cowardice

British Dictionary definitions for cowardice


/ (ˈkaʊədɪs) /


lack of courage in facing danger, pain, or difficulty
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

Word Origin and History for cowardice



c.1300, from Old French coardise (13c.), from coard, coart (see coward) + noun suffix -ise.

Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination. [Ernest Hemingway, "Men at War," 1942]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper