Word of the DayTuesday, July 29, 2008
\pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs\ , adjective;
lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid.
proceeding from or indicating a cowardly spirit.
…in the intervals of their debauches of brutality they are oily and ingratiating, make favorites, offer pusillanimous apologies, protest humane intentions, and allege absurd excuses for past outages.
-- Julian Hawthorne, The Subterranean Brotherhood, 1914
The magnanimous man always praises himself in his heart; and so the pusillanimous man, on the contrary, always deems himself less than he is.
-- Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), translated by Elizabeth Price Sayer, The Banquet, 1887
Pusillanimous is derived from the Latin words pusillis meaning "small" and animus meaning "spirit." It entered English in the late 1500s.
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