• WordNet 3.6
    • n cowardice the trait of lacking courage
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Cowardice Want of courage to face danger; extreme timidity; pusillanimity; base fear of danger or hurt; lack of spirit. "The cowardice of doing wrong.""Moderation was despised as cowardice ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cowardice Want of courage to face danger, difficulty, opposition, etc.; dread of exposure to harm or pain of any kind; fear of consequences; pusillanimity; dishonorable fear.
    • n cowardice Synonyms Poltroonery, dastardliness, cowardliness.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Cowardice want of courage: timidity
    • ***


  • Plutarch
    “Courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness, one of which is a lack, the other an excess of courage.”
  • Confucius
    “To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.”
  • Mahatma Gandhi
    “Fear has its use but cowardice has none.”
  • Ernest Hemingway
    “Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.”
  • Eric Hoffer
    “When cowardice is made respectable, its followers are without number both from among the weak and the strong; it easily becomes a fashion.”
  • George A. Knight
    George A. Knight
    “Dishonesty, cowardice and duplicity are never impulsive.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. couardise, fr. couard,. See Coward
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. couard (It. codardo)—L. cauda, a tail.


In literature:

Have I ever shown cowardice or lack of manly spirit?
"Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Wallenstein himself, his hat and cloak riddled with bullets, rushed in vain among his men, taunting them furiously with their cowardice.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11" by Various
All the things that go on inside you, the cruel, dreadful things; the cowardices and treacheries.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
Victory over loss and cowardice of friends.
"Cupology" by Clara
His cowardice had driven her to Jake Houck's arms because there was no other place for her to go.
"The Fighting Edge" by William MacLeod Raine
How he hated himself, for his weakness, for his cowardice!
"The Place of Honeymoons" by Harold MacGrath
She was evidently furious at the cowardice of her men.
"An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet" by A. Henry Savage Landor
That, however, was cowardice.
"The Wooden Horse" by Hugh Walpole
The Maid had failed, by their design, and by their cowardice.
"The Red True Story Book" by Various
A sort of instinctive cowardice detained her.
"Germinie Lacerteux" by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

In poetry:

I have no fear. What is in store for me
Shall find me ready for it, undismayed.
God grant my only cowardice may be
Afraid--to be afraid!
"Unafraid" by Everard Jack Appleton
"No plea," said I, "can well excuse
Such cowardice in you:
For Ghosts can visit when they choose,
Whereas we Humans ca'n't refuse
To grant the interview."
"Phantasmagoria Canto I (The Trystyng )" by Lewis Carroll
Their shameful glow betrays their cowardice;
Among such stars I never shall be found.
But they are there beside you in the heavens,
And I am here, forgotten on the ground.
""Above our submarine's black nose she rises ..."" by Konstantin Simonov
Well, we are wise. When life begins
To look so dour and dark
'Tis good to jettison our sins
And keep afloat the bark:
But don't let us claim lack of vice
For what's plumb cowardice!
"Cowardice" by Robert W Service
No stain of greed nor cowardice shall I proclaim
But that you merit a brave prince's name.
Alas! Tell not of the heights to which he rose
But that he'd fain be succoured in his woes.
"Verses to Ronsard" by Mary Stuart
She her fair young head can rest
Soothed and childlike on his breast,
And in trustful innocence
Draw new strength and courage thence;
He, the proud man, feels within
But the cowardice of sin!
"The New Wife and the Old" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

Profiles in Cowardice How to deal with the terrorist threat — and how not to.
Cowardice on Clean Needles.
Gregg Williams' stunning comments represent an act of cowardice and is an admission to his coaching deficiencies.
Sexism, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Islamism, anti-immigrantism, really all come from the same place--cowardice.
Today at Public Discourse, I argue that the decision of King & Spalding to bug out on defending DOMA, and the stick-to-itiveness of Paul Clement, show us more than a simple tale of cowardice and courage.
Assailing the evils wrought by corporate greed and government cowardice is a noble — if not original — intent.
The cowardice and intolerance of slapping a Darwin fish on your car bumper.
Wilson walked out of a rigorous conditioning workout the night of Nov 4, a day after the Cougars had been routed by Utah and Leach ordered linemen, some of whose effort he said "bordered on cowardice," to answer media questions.
There is an element of cowardice in Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity.
This time, the cowardice, the fear, the evasion and the political convenience must end.
Occupy Intensity, Conservative Cowardice, and a May Day to Remember.
Enough with our cowardice in dealing with gun control, mental illness .
Enough with our cowardice in dealing with gun control, mental illness.
He does not believe in government, and in his political cowardice is a perfect match for Romney.
In Confronting Tucson Shooter, Giffords Condemns Political Cowardice.