[ tim-er-uhs ]
See synonyms for: timoroustimorouslytimorousness on Thesaurus.com

  1. full of fear; fearful: The noise made them timorous.

  2. subject to fear; timid.

  1. characterized by or indicating fear: a timorous whisper.

Origin of timorous

1400–50; late Middle English <Medieval Latin timōrōsus (Latin timōr- (stem of timor) fear + -ōsus-ous)

synonym study For timorous

1. See cowardly.

Other words from timorous

  • tim·or·ous·ly, adverb
  • tim·or·ous·ness, noun
  • o·ver·tim·or·ous, adjective
  • o·ver·tim·or·ous·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·tim·or·ous·ness, noun
  • un·tim·or·ous, adjective
  • un·tim·or·ous·ly, adverb
  • un·tim·or·ous·ness, noun

Words Nearby timorous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use timorous in a sentence

  • Forget about the Second Amendment—the gun lobby, abetted by timorous Republicans, is trying to privatize law and order.

  • Alas, the sad truth is that the CIA, despite its Bourne Identity reputation, has become a timorous, risk-averse bureaucracy.

    Spy Agency Fiasco | Joseph Finder | August 18, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The CIA, despite its cowboy image, is in fact in many ways a timorous, risk-averse bureaucracy.

    Hands Off the CIA | Joseph Finder | April 22, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • After a few days of excessive nervousness the most timorous among the women were heard to complain of the monotony of existence!

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • They find it in their interest to be generous, obliging, and friendly; but to represent them as timorous sycophants is absurd.

    The Chequers | James Runciman

British Dictionary definitions for timorous


/ (ˈtɪmərəs) /

  1. fearful or timid

  2. indicating fear or timidity

Origin of timorous

C15: from Old French temoros, from Medieval Latin timōrōsus, from Latin timor fear, from timēre to be afraid

Derived forms of timorous

  • timorously, adverb
  • timorousness, 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