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[milk-tohst] /ˈmɪlkˌtoʊst/
noun, (sometimes initial capital letter)
a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated:
a milquetoast who's afraid to ask for a raise.
Also called Caspar Milquetoast.
1935-40, Americanism; after Caspar Milquetoast, a character in The Timid Soul, comic strip by H. T. Webster (1885-1952), American cartoonist
Can be confused
milk toast, milquetoast. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for milquetoast
  • Ordering chicken is a milquetoast move and not sharing your short ribs is akin to hogging the ball in a pick-up game.
  • The attorney-general is a skilled prosecutor with a milquetoast public profile who has run a somewhat boring campaign.
  • Gross swung from what he called a milquetoast bullish stance to what became by summer a bold bet on lower rates.
  • Broomfield approaches, they take stock of his milquetoast manner and underestimate him.
  • Doug is equal parts milquetoast monster and budding filmmaker.
  • milquetoast enforcement weakens your overall system of compliance.
British Dictionary definitions for milquetoast


(US & Canadian) a meek, submissive, or timid person
Word Origin
C20: from Caspar Milquetoast, a cartoon character invented by H. T. Webster (1885–1952)
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 milquetoast

"timid, meek person," 1938, from Caspar Milquetoast, character created by U.S. newspaper cartoonist H.T. Webster (1885-1952) in the strip "The Timid Soul," which ran from 1924 in the "New York World" and later the "Herald Tribune." By 1930 the name was being referenced as a type of the meek man. The form seems to be milktoast with an added French twist; cf. also milksop.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for milquetoast



A mild, ineffectual person; a timid person; wimp

[1924+; fr or popularized by the comic-strip character Caspar Milquetoast in ''The Timid Soul'' by H T Webster]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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