cower

To cower is to shrink in fear. Whether they live in the country or city, any mouse will cower when a huge, hungry cat approaches.

When you cower, you're not just afraid. You're so terrified that your whole body cringes, crouches, and shrinks in on itself to hide from the source of your fear. Victims of a school bully might cower whenever he comes near, and a law-breaking peasant might cower when brought before a cruel king. Although a coward might cower in fear, the two words aren't related.

Definitions of cower
  1. verb
    crouch or curl up
    synonyms: huddle
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    type of:
    bend, bow, crouch, stoop
    bend one's back forward from the waist on down
  2. verb
    show submission or fear
    synonyms: crawl, creep, cringe, fawn, grovel
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    type of:
    bend, flex
    form a curve
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