adjective Informal.

lacking courage, fortitude, or determination.

Origin of gutless

1600–10 for literal sense; gut + -less
Related formsgut·less·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gutless

Contemporary Examples of gutless

  • So should McQueary, who is actually the most gutless in not telling police what he witnessed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Good Riddance, Joe Paterno

    Buzz Bissinger

    November 10, 2011

  • It is hard to believe there is any other outcome for our gutless political system than to choose the second way out.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Dollar's Scary Decline

    Jeffrey E. Garten

    January 30, 2010

Historical Examples of gutless

  • Of all the gutless wonders I've ever heard of that pilgrim takes the prize.


    Jesse Franklin Bone

  • Rostoff snatched up the fallen gun, snarling, "I'm calling your bluff, you gutless rummy."

    Medal of Honor

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • Or are all you Mentorians so gutless that you believe any half-baked folk tale the Lhari pass off on you?

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

British Dictionary definitions for gutless



informal lacking courage or determination
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 gutless

"cowardly," 1900, from gut (n.) in the figurative "spirit" sense (see guts) + -less. Literal sense is from c.1600. Related: Gutlessly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper