Word of the Day

Monday, March 14, 2011

pusillanimous

\pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs\ , adjective;
1.
lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid.
2.
proceeding from or indicating a cowardly spirit.
Quotes:
…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
Origin:
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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