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From Middle English cowardise, from Anglo-Norman cuardise (modern French couardise).



cowardice (countable and uncountable, plural cowardices)

  1. Lack of courage.
    • c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth, [], quarto edition, London: [] V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, OCLC 55178895, [Act IV, scene ii]:
      The ſecond property of your excellent ſherris, is the vvarming of the blood, vvhich before (cold & ſetled) left the lyuer vvhite & pale, vvhich is the badge of puſilanimitie and covvardize: but the ſherris vvarmes it, and makes it courſe from the invvards to the partes extreames, []
    • 2019 July 19, Noah Kulwin, “Democrats Fail the Left, Once Again”, in Jewish Currents[1]:
      [Ilhan] Omar was left twisting in the wind earlier this year after facing spurious charges of antisemitism, a display of Democratic cowardice co-signed by Chelsea Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and most every other Democrat with a congressional leadership position.

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  1. ^ Stanley, Oma (1937), “I. Vowel Sounds in Stressed Syllables”, in The Speech of East Texas (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 2), New York: Columbia University Press, DOI:10.7312/stan90028, →ISBN, § 15, page 29.