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cowardly Line breaks: cow|ard¦ly
Pronunciation: /ˈkaʊədli/

Definition of cowardly in English:


1Lacking courage: he was a weak, cowardly man
More example sentences
  • There is more foolishness, more cowardly hearts, less courage, lack of appreciation and gratitude and less politeness.
  • A strange country where the military lost their power but none of the cowardly politicians had the courage to tell them.
  • The more cowardly completely lost courage, but the more able and subtle did not think it necessary to give up.
timid, timorous, fearful, trembling, quaking, shrinking, cowering, afraid of one's own shadow, pusillanimous, weak, feeble, soft
British informal wet
North American informal candy-assed
North American vulgar slang chickenshit
1.1(Of an action) carried out against a person who is unable to retaliate: a cowardly attack on a helpless victim
More example sentences
  • This man has carried out a cowardly attack on an elderly woman who he knew would not be able to defend herself.
  • We are also certain that the police will apprehend the criminal who carried out this cowardly deed.
  • This appears to be a premeditated and cowardly racially motivated attack.


archaic Back to top  
In a way which shows a lack of courage.


Example sentences
  • You could not be blamed for the craven cowardliness of your opponent, could you?
  • They have decided to risk losing through cowardliness, rather than to risk winning through valor.
  • The shameful cowardliness of the man's commentating is simply unacceptable.
Definition of cowardly in:
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