To show the white feather

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To show the white feather to betray cowardice, -- a white feather in the tail of a cock being considered an indication that he is not of the true game breed.
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Usage

In literature:

But here I was, and I determined not to show the white feather.
"The Young Forester" by Zane Grey
Nor would she show the white feather or succumb to the threats of rowdies.
"The Magnificent Montez" by Horace Wyndham
Yet Larry was inwardly determined not to show the white feather if he could help it.
"Chums in Dixie" by St. George Rathborne
The cock-and-hen admiral found it convenient to show a white feather; interest stood in the way, and barred him from taking his revenge.
"Frank Mildmay" by Captain Frederick Marryat
In that case, an Englishman who showed the white feather would be a disgrace to his country.
"Held Fast For England" by G. A. Henty
Now we are in it, you want to back out, and let your fellows show the white feather.
"Down the Rhine" by Oliver Optic
Some of the Dutch captains then showed the white feather and tried to escape.
"A History of Sea Power" by William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott
When it comes to facing Fate, Rafael Rocas isn't the man to show the white-feather.
"The Flag of Distress" by Mayne Reid
And as I'd no intention of showing the white feather to her ladyship, I kept right on to the end.
"The Prairie Mother" by Arthur Stringer
It was not in her nature to show the white feather!
"The Little Vanities of Mrs. Whittaker" by John Strange Winter
We've stood in front of death too many times now to show the white feather.
"Midnight Webs" by George Manville Fenn
The boys threw themselves down on the ground, some of them glad of the chance to recuperate without having to show the white feather.
"Woodcraft" by Alan Douglas
Who's showing the white feather, I'd like to know.
"The Outdoor Chums on the Lake" by Quincy Allen
He could not, therefore, afford to show the white feather, and though he hesitated, it was not for long.
"Chippinge Borough" by Stanley J. Weyman
The Iron Boy, however, possessed too much grit to show the white feather.
"The Iron Boys in the Mines" by James R. Mears
If the worst comes to the worst I am not going to show the white feather.
"A Gamble with Life" by Silas K. Hocking
Was he alone, among the most zealous Catholic laymen of England, to show the white feather in a time of peril?
"The Life of a Conspirator" by Thomas Longueville
Well, it was too late to show the white feather.
"My Fire Opal, and Other Tales" by Sarah Warner Brooks
It never, therefore, occurred to the Squire to show the white feather upon this unpleasant occasion.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. VI, November 1850, Vol. I" by Various
I regard life as a joke, and I don't propose to show the white feather when my time comes.
"Frank Merriwell's Triumph" by Burt L. Standish
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