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coward

[kou-erd] /ˈkaʊ ərd/
noun
1.
a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.; a timid or easily intimidated person.
adjective
2.
lacking courage; very fearful or timid.
3.
proceeding from or expressive of fear or timidity:
a coward cry.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French couard-, couart cowardly, equivalent to coue tail (< Latin cauda) + -art -ard
Synonyms
1. craven, poltroon, dastard, recreant, milksop.

Coward

[kou-erd] /ˈkaʊ ərd/
noun
1.
Noel, 1899–1973, English playwright, author, actor, and composer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for coward

coward

/ˈkaʊəd/
noun
1.
a person who shrinks from or avoids danger, pain, or difficulty
Word Origin
C13: from Old French cuard, from coue tail, from Latin cauda; perhaps suggestive of a frightened animal with its tail between its legs

Coward

/ˈkaʊəd/
noun
1.
Sir Noël (Pierce). 1899–1973, English dramatist, actor, and composer, noted for his sophisticated comedies, which include Private Lives (1930) and Blithe Spirit (1941)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coward
coward
early 13c., from O.Fr. coart, from coe "tail," from L. coda, dialectal variant of cauda "tail," of uncertain origin + -ard, an agent noun suffix denoting one that carries on some action or possesses some quality, with derogatory connotation (see -ard). The word probably reflects an animal metaphoric sense still found in expressions like turning tail and tail between legs. Coart was the name of the hare in O.Fr. versions of "Reynard the Fox." As a surname (attested from 1255) it represents O.E. cuhyrde "cow-herd."
"Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination." [Ernest Hemingway, "Men at War," 1942]
An O.E. word for "cowardly" was earg, which also meant "slothful."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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