Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An utter coward.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lazy, idle fellow; a sluggard; a fellow without spirit or courage; a dastard; a coward.
  • noun Synonyms Craven, Dastard, etc. See coward.
  • Base; cowardly; contemptible.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Base; vile; contemptible; cowardly.
  • noun An arrant coward; a dastard; a craven; a mean-spirited wretch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An ignoble or total coward; a dastard; a mean-spirited wretch.
  • adjective Cowardly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective characterized by complete cowardliness
  • noun an abject coward

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French poltron, from Old Italian poltrone, coward, idler, perhaps augmentative of poltro, unbroken colt (from Vulgar Latin *pulliter, from Latin pullus, young animal; see pau- in Indo-European roots) or from poltro, bed, lazy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French poltron, from Italian poltrone

Examples

Comments

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  • "Man, man! did I not know thee brave as fearless fire (and as mechanical) I could swear thou wert a poltroon."

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 133

    July 31, 2008

  • Base; vile; contemptible; cowardly. French poltron, from Italian poltrone: an idle fellow, sluggard, coward. poltro: idle, lazy. An arrant coward; a dastard; a craven; a mean-spirited wretch.

    January 19, 2009