EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English couren, curen, from Middle Low German kûren (to lie in wait; linger) or from Scandinavian (Icelandic kúra (to doze)). Cognate with German kauern (to squat), Dutch koeren (to keep watch (in a cowered position)), Serbo-Croatian kutriti (to lie in a bent position). Unrelated to coward, which is of Latin origin.

VerbEdit

 
A person cowering on Coventry Street, London

cower (third-person singular simple present cowers, present participle cowering, simple past and past participle cowered)

  1. (intransitive) To crouch or cringe, or to avoid or shy away from something, in fear.
    He'd be useless in war. He'd just cower in his bunker until the enemy came in and shot him, or until the war was over.
  2. (intransitive, archaic) To crouch in general.
  3. (transitive) To cause to cower; to frighten into submission.
    • 1895, Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industry of Kansas:
      This done, their doubts will vanish, and they will stand confronted by an object lesson which must have the effect either to arouse them to a determination to banish despotism from the land, or cower them into submission and servitude.
    • 2007, DJ Birmingham, The Queen's Tale: The Struggle for the Survival of Ireland, page 170:
      My spirit will cower them and make them wish they had never risen up against me.
    • 2010, Marilyn Brown Oden, The Dead Saint:
      A vicious Mafia threat intended to cower him—but the chief doesn't cower.
TranslationsEdit
See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

VerbEdit

cower (third-person singular simple present cowers, present participle cowering, simple past and past participle cowered)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To cherish with care.

AnagramsEdit