Synonyms Examples Word Origin See more synonyms for cowardly on Thesaurus.com lacking courage; contemptibly timid. characteristic of or befitting a coward; despicably mean, covert, or unprincipled: a cowardly attack on a weak, defenseless man. Origin of cowardly 1275–1325; Middle English
-ly Related forms cow·ard·li·ness, noun Synonyms for cowardly See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com 1
Synonym study 1. Cowardly, timid, timorous refer to a lack of courage or self-confidence. Cowardly means weakly or basely fearful in the presence of danger: The cowardly wretch deserted his comrades in battle. Timid means lacking in boldness or self-confidence even when there is no danger present: a timid person who stood in the way of his own advancement. Timorous suggests a timidity based on an exaggeration of dangers or on an imaginary creation of dangers: timorous as a mouse.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cowardliness Historical Examples of cowardliness
I tell you, this
cowardliness enrages me; I cannot forgive it.
Should he shrink from the duties of life, into the
cowardliness of death?
To my mind, these questions only bespeak our weakness and our
cowardliness of the Edinburgh is more than the abuse of the Quarterly.
It is not
cowardliness and gluttony that have made me what I am. British Dictionary definitions for cowardliness of or characteristic of a coward; lacking courage Derived Forms cowardliness, 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
Word Origin and History for cowardliness adj.
coward + -ly (1). The adverb (late 14c.) is much older than the adjective: Yit had I levir do what I may Than here to dye thus cowerdelye ["Le Morte d'Arthur," c.1450]
An Old English word for "cowardly" was
earg, which also meant "slothful." Related: Cowardliness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper