pusillanimity

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n pusillanimity contemptible fearfulness
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Pusillanimity The quality of being pusillanimous; weakness of spirit; cowardliness. "The badge of pusillanimity and cowardice.""It is obvious to distinguished between an act of . . . pusillanimity and an act of great modesty or humility."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pusillanimity The state or condition of being pusillanimous; lack of that spirit which constitutes courage or fortitude; cowardliness; timidity.
    • n pusillanimity Synonyms Poltroonery. See coward, n.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Pusillanimity state or quality of being weak-minded: lack of spirit or courage: timidity
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. pusillanimitas,: cf. F. pusillanimité,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. pusillanimispusillus, very little, animus, the mind.

Usage

In literature:

But the stern logic of events will save the illogical, pusillanimous, confused half-measure, as it now is.
"Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862" by Adam Gurowski
Catharine was glad to have the pusillanimous Charles out of the way.
"Henry IV, Makers of History" by John S. C. Abbott
Zarathustra is a feeble and pusillanimous man, not one of royal state who is able to bring his purpose to effect.
"History of Religion" by Allan Menzies
He exhorted his hearers to imitate the example of Paris, and accused the royal officers of indolence and pusillanimity.
"History of the Rise of the Huguenots" by Henry Baird
Vigilius was soon coerced into submission, but the West repudiated his pusillanimous surrender, and rejected the council.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 2" by Various
It would be pusillanimous to retire now.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
No wonder we see so much pusillanimity in the President, when we see so little enterprise in the General!
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete" by Thomas Paine
No wonder we see so much pusillanimity in the President, when we see so little enterprise in the General!
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Volume III. 1791-1804" by Thomas Paine
Is it better to err on the side of generosity to God, or on the side of pusillanimity?
"What Shall I Be?" by Rev. Francis Cassily
I had only to sit pusillanimously quiet until Saunders was guilty of some impertinence, then there would be no more Saunders.
"McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 4, August 1908" by Various
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In news:

With a pusillanimous American administration pushing a global détente , what reason does Russia or Syria—or China, North Korea, and Iran—have for checking their ambitions.
Not because of any government clampdown, but because of increasing press pusillanimity.
Obama, Clinton, the Saudi King, All Pusillanimous , One Worse Than the Other.
Not because of some government clampdown, but because of increasing press pusillanimity.
Unnerved, the pusillanimous French retreat.
Signing in, my motivation palls, pusillanimous.
Dave Eggers' Pusillanimity: Notes for L'Affaire Gunter Grass.
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