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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Cowardice'

Cowardice Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    cowardice n : the trait of lacking courage [syn: cowardliness] [ant: courage]
Cowardice Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Cowardice \Cow"ard*ice\ (-[i^]s), n. [F. couardise, fr. couard. See Coward.] Want of courage to face danger; extreme timidity; pusillanimity; base fear of danger or hurt; lack of spirit. The cowardice of doing wrong. --Milton. Moderation was despised as cowardice. --Macaulay.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Cowardice'

Cowardice is the perceived failure to demonstrate sufficient robustness in the face of a challenge. The term describes a personality trait which is viewed as a negative characteristic and has been frowned upon (see norms) within most, if not all global cultures, while courage, typically viewed as its direct opposite, is generally rewarded and encouraged.

Cowards are usually seen to have avoided or refused to engage in a confrontation or struggle which has been deemed good or righteous by the wider culture in which they live. On a more mundane level, the label may be applied to those who are regarded as too frightened or overwhelmed to defend their rights or those of others from aggressors in their lives.

Acts of cowardice have long been punishable by military law, which defines a wide range of cowardly offenses including desertion in face of the enemy and surrendering to the enemy against orders. The punishment for such acts is typically severe, ranging from corporal punishment to the death sentence. Cowardly conduct is specifically mentioned within the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice.

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'Cowardice' in famous quotation sentence

* Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark. - Samuel Johnson

* A high heart ought to bear calamities and not flee them, since in bearing them appears the grandeur of the mind and in fleeing them the cowardice of the heart. - Pietro Aretino

* It could be that our faithlessness is a cowering cowardice born of our very smallness, a massive failure of imagination... If we were to judge nature by common sense or likelihood, we wouldn't believe the world existed. - Annie Dillard

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Cowardice Sample Sentences in News

  • Boston Marathon bombing, one year later: Were the Tsarnaevs really cowards?
    "Cowardice" is the term of choice after every horrific attack. Let's understand what it really means Read more on this news related to 'Cowardice'
  • The Joy of Six: Australia v New Zealand
    From the Chappell brothers' 'act of true cowardice' to John Eales's last-gasp penalty conversion, our selection of the best Trans-Tasman sporting encounters Paul Connolly Read more on this news related to 'Cowardice'
  • Cowardice of attack on an elderly man
    When it is an 84-year-old man, it descends to another level of wickedness altogether. All Michael Green was doing was leaving the Trumpet Pub in Bilston. Read more on this news related to 'Cowardice'

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