a mean, sneaking coward.
of or befitting a dastard; mean, sneaky, and cowardly.
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Origin of dastard
1400–50; late Middle English < ?.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
archaic a contemptible sneaking coward
Word Origin for dastard
C15 (in the sense: dullard): probably from Old Norse dæstr exhausted, out of breath
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
mid-15c., "one who is lazy or dull;" an English formation on a French model, probably from *dast, "dazed," past participle of dasen "to daze" (see daze (v.)) + deprecatory suffix -ard. Meaning "one who shirks from danger" is late 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper