What does coward mean?

Definitions for coward
ˈkaʊ ərdcow·ard

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word coward.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cowardnoun

    a person who shows fear or timidity

  2. Coward, Noel Coward, Sir Noel Pierce Cowardnoun

    English dramatist and actor and composer noted for his witty and sophisticated comedies (1899-1973)


  1. cowardnoun

    A person who lacks courage.

  2. cowardadjective


  3. Etymology: From coart, cuard (> French couard), from coe + -ard; is in turn from cauda. The reference seems to be to an animal “turning tail”, or having its tail between its legs, especially a dog.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. COWARDnoun

    Etymology: couard, Fr. of uncertain derivation.

    Pyrocles did such wonders, beyond belief, as was able to lead Musidorus to courage, though he had been born a coward. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    There was a soldier that vaunted, before Julius Cæsar, of the hurts he had received in his face. Cæsar knowing him to be but a coward, told him, You were best take heed, next time you run away, how you look back Francis Bacon, Apophth. 188.

    Some are brave one day, and cowards another, as great captains have often told me, from their own experience and observation. William Temple.

    A coward does not always escape with disgrace, but sometimes also he loses his life. South.

    What can ennoble sots, and slaves, and cowards?
    Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards. Alexander Pope.

    Tremble ye not, Oh friends! and cowards fly,
    Doom’d by the stern Telemachus to die! Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Having more man than wit about me, I drew;
    And rais’d the house with loud and coward cries William Shakespeare.

    Invading fears repel my coward joy,
    And ills foreseen the present bliss destroy. Matthew Prior.


  1. coward

    Cowardice is a trait wherein excessive fear prevents an individual from taking a risk or facing danger. It is the opposite of courage. As a label, "cowardice" indicates a failure of character in the face of a challenge. One who succumbs to cowardice is known as a coward.As the opposite of bravery, which many historical and current human societies reward, cowardice is seen as a character flaw that is detrimental to society and thus the failure to face one's fear is often stigmatized and/or punished.


  1. coward

    A coward is a person who lacks the courage to confront fear, danger, or pain, and avoids difficult or challenging situations. They typically display a lack of bravery or courage in situations that require these attributes, and often choose personal safety or comfort over confronting difficulties or standing up for their values or beliefs.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cowardadjective

    borne in the escutcheon with his tail doubled between his legs; -- said of a lion

  2. Cowardadjective

    destitute of courage; timid; cowardly

  3. Cowardadjective

    belonging to a coward; proceeding from, or expressive of, base fear or timidity

  4. Cowardnoun

    a person who lacks courage; a timid or pusillanimous person; a poltroon

  5. Cowardverb

    to make timorous; to frighten

  6. Etymology: [OF. couard, coard, coart, n. and adj., F. couard, fr. OF. coe, coue, tail, F. queue (fr. L. coda, a form of cauda tail) + -ard; orig., short-tailed, as an epithet of the hare, or perh., turning tail, like a scared dog. Cf. Cue, Queue, Caudal.]


  1. Coward

    Coward is a town in Florence County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 650 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Coward

    kow′ard, n. a faint-hearted person: one without courage.—v.t. to intimidate.—adjs. Cow′ard, Cow′ardly, afraid of danger: timid: mean.—ns. Cow′ardice, want of courage: timidity.—Cow′ardree (Spens.); Cow′ardliness.—adv. Cow′ardly.—n. Cow′ardship (Shak.), the quality of being a coward. [O. Fr. couard (It. codardo)—L. cauda, a tail.]

Suggested Resources

  1. coward

    Song lyrics by coward -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by coward on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Coward is ranked #6012 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Coward surname appeared 5,720 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Coward.

    59.6% or 3,411 total occurrences were White.
    34% or 1,948 total occurrences were Black.
    3.1% or 181 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.2% or 127 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.5% or 34 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.3% or 19 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of coward in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of coward in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of coward in a Sentence

  1. Euripides:

    A coward turns away, but a brave man's choice is danger.

  2. Farid Benyettou:

    As the date got closer, more and more I wanted to turn back time. But if I chickened out, I risked being seen as a coward.

  3. Tarpon Springs:

    A tragedy caused by a coward, it’s devastating.

  4. Polk County:

    That’s right, he didn’t want to die. He consciously and intentionally decided, he was an absolute coward. He looks like a man but he’s not a man, he’s a sniveling coward. He was a big bad dude when he had different firearms and shot and murdered a grandmother.

  5. Brian Laundrie:

    Because he’s a coward. Flat out. I could use some other words, but I can’t use them on your show. Coward, anyone that lived in that house is a coward, and they don’t know how to stand up for their actions.

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Translations for coward

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"coward." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/coward>.

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    an attendant who carries the golf clubs for a player
    • A. fluster
    • B. caddie
    • C. knead
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