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Word of the Day
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Definitions for lily-livered

  1. Weak or lacking in courage; cowardly; pusillanimous.

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Citations for lily-livered
But surely, for your own sake, you will not be so lily-livered as to fall into this trap which he has baited for you and let him take the very bread out of your mouth without a struggle. Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers
He had skin as white as a lily, but he was not lily-livered; he was as strong as a champion at the Shrovetide games. Geoffrey Chaucer and Peter Ackroyd, Canterbury Tales
Origin of lily-livered
Lily-livered was first used in English by Shakespeare in Macbeth. The liver was supposedly the seat of passion and was typically dark red or brown. Since a lily is pale and light-colored, a lily-livered person was weak and passionless.