[ kou-erd-lee ]
/ ˈkaʊ ərd li /


lacking courage; contemptibly timid.
characteristic of or befitting a coward; despicably mean, covert, or unprincipled: a cowardly attack on a weak, defenseless man.


like a coward.

Words nearby cowardly

Origin of cowardly

1275–1325; Middle English (adv.); see coward, -ly


cow·ard·li·ness, noun

synonym study for cowardly

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for cowardly

British Dictionary definitions for cowardly

/ (ˈkaʊədlɪ) /


of or characteristic of a coward; lacking courage

Derived forms of cowardly

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