Definitions

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

  • n. A base coward: "Every moment of the fashion industry's misery is richly deserved by the designers . . . and magazine poltroons who perpetuate this absurd creation” ( Nina Totenberg).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ignoble or total coward; a dastard; a mean-spirited wretch.
  • adj. Cowardly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

  • adj. characterized by complete cowardliness
  • n. 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-1 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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  • 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

  • "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