9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kou-er-dis] /ˈkaʊ ər dɪs/
lack of courage to face danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.
Origin of cowardice
1250-1300; Middle English cowardise < Old French co(u)ardise, equivalent to co(u)art cowardly (see coward) + -ise -ice
pusillanimity, timidity.
bravery. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cowardice
  • It should be remembered that brutality is not manliness, but cowardice.
  • Given that cohort, presidential cowardice doesn't have ruinous effects.
  • The neighborhood has been deeply affected by that horrific act of cowardice.
  • And so did large acts of cowardice and small acts of courage, often committed by unknown soldiers.
  • To the cowardice of the politicians in power and to the bravery of the participants involved.
  • It's either puffed up pride or academic cowardice that drives one side to try to say for certain that the other is wrong.
  • Curiously, this political cowardice has pushed negotiators in opposite directions.
  • The only ones who were right were those who opposed the war from the beginning for ideological reasons, not out of cowardice.
  • My observation is that bullies act from cowardice and insecurity, in all cases.
  • It's not an easy choice to make, and presenting it that way comes off as intellectual cowardice.
British Dictionary definitions for cowardice


lack of courage in facing danger, pain, or difficulty
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 cowardice

c.1300, from Old French coardise (13c.), from coard, coart (see coward) + noun suffix -ise.

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]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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