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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

  • The cowardice of Germany, France and Italy whose leaders have done little to bring Putin into line
    There seems little doubt that the pro-Russian separatists of East Ukraine have on their hands the blood of the 298 men, writes Simon Heffer. Read more on this news related to 'Cowardice'
  • Shameful political cowardice as Irish Govt abstains from UN war crimes vote
    THE Irish Government abstained from a UN Human Rights Council vote in Geneva which seeks to establish an international Commission of Inquiry into allegations of war crimes committed in Gaza. Read more on this news related to 'Cowardice'
  • James Garner, Elaine Stritch, Kanye West, And The Culture Of Creative Cowardice
    James Garner died over the weekend at the age of 86. Before he was the star of Maverick and The Rockford Files, he was a lot of other things. As The New York Times wrote of his colorful career history: “Mr. Garner came to acting late, and by accident. On his [...] Read more on this news related to 'Cowardice'

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