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[tim-er-uh s] /ˈtɪm ər əs/
full of fear; fearful:
The noise made them timorous.
subject to fear; timid.
characterized by or indicating fear:
a timorous whisper.
Origin of timorous
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin timōrōsus (Latin timōr- (stem of timor) fear + -ōsus -ous)
Related forms
timorously, adverb
timorousness, noun
overtimorous, adjective
overtimorously, adverb
overtimorousness, noun
untimorous, adjective
untimorously, adverb
untimorousness, noun
1. See cowardly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for timorous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How is it (it asks itself) that it should find itself baffled and timorous?

    Lux Mundi Various
  • However, Lisa only shrugged her shoulders and smiled at finding him so timorous.

  • It seems the condensation of a whole youth of study, dreams and sentiment, of a tortuous, timorous youth.

    The Book of Masks Remy de Gourmont
  • And she forced on the timorous Prue a quarter as her matriculation fee.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • This seemed a place of few and timorous birds, and of fewer trees.

    Henry Brocken Walter J. de la Mare
  • Bless that straightforward, timorous, modest American skipper!

    Hunting the Skipper George Manville Fenn
  • Illness had quickly, brutally changed that vigorous man, suddenly old and timorous.

British Dictionary definitions for timorous


fearful or timid
indicating fear or timidity
Derived Forms
timorously, adverb
timorousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French temoros, from Medieval Latin timōrōsus, from Latin timor fear, from timēre to be afraid
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 timorous

mid-15c., from Old French temeros (14c.), from Medieval Latin timorosus "fearful," from Latin timor "fear," from timere "to fear." Some early sense confused by mistaken identification with Middle English temerous "rash" (see temerity). Related: Timorously; timorousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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