milquetoast

[ milk-tohst ]
/ ˈmɪlkˌtoʊst /

noun (sometimes initial capital letter)

a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated: a milquetoast who's afraid to ask for a raise.

Origin of milquetoast

1935–40, Americanism; after Caspar Milquetoast, a character in The Timid Soul, comic strip by H. T. Webster (1885–1952), American cartoonist
Also called Caspar Milquetoast.
Can be confusedmilk toast milquetoast
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for milquetoast

British Dictionary definitions for milquetoast

milquetoast

/ (ˈmɪlkˌtəʊst) /

noun

US and Canadian a meek, submissive, or timid person

Word Origin for milquetoast

C20: from Caspar Milquetoast, a cartoon character invented by H. T. Webster (1885–1952)
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 milquetoast

milquetoast


n.

"timid, meek person," 1938, from Caspar Milquetoast, character created by U.S. newspaper cartoonist H.T. Webster (1885-1952) in the strip "The Timid Soul," which ran from 1924 in the "New York World" and later the "Herald Tribune." By 1930 the name was being referenced as a type of the meek man. The form seems to be milktoast with an added French twist; cf. also milksop.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper