A coward is someone who’s afraid of doing something daring or dangerous. Skydiving might sound exciting in theory, but you might be a coward when it comes to actually jumping out of a plane. Which is probably wise.

Coward comes from the Latin word couda, meaning “tail.” Have you ever seen a scared puppy with its tail between its legs? That’s what people who are cowards would be doing if they had tails. Being afraid of something dangerous might make someone a coward, but the word can also describe someone who avoids doing something difficult or unpleasant. If your boss makes his assistant deliver the unpleasant news about layoffs, you might call him a coward.

Definitions of coward
  1. noun
    a person who shows fear or timidity
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    a cowardly and despicable person
    a despicable coward
    craven, poltroon, recreant
    an abject coward
    quaker, trembler
    one who quakes and trembles with (or as with) fear
    shrinking violet, shy person
    someone who shrinks from familiarity with others
    Milquetoast, milksop, pansy, pantywaist, sissy
    a timid man or boy considered childish or unassertive
    hesitater, hesitator, vacillator, waverer
    one who hesitates (usually out of fear)
    a cowardly and despicable person
    remains on sidelines at social event
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
Word Family

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