Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The character or nature of a poltroon; cowardice; baseness of mind; want of spirit.

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

  • noun Cowardice; want of spirit; pusillanimity.

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

  • noun Cowardice; want of spirit; pusillanimity.

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

  • noun abject pusillanimity

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

poltroon +‎ -ery

Examples

  • Because the driver has (as is his wont) omitted such petit-bourgeois poltroonery as insurance, driving licence and vehicle registration, it will not matter if he is on every visit tracked from low Earth orbit by some huge American spy satellite.

    Blatancy Award

  • Because the driver has (as is his wont) omitted such petit-bourgeois poltroonery as insurance, driving licence and vehicle registration, it will not matter if he is on every visit tracked from low Earth orbit by some huge American spy satellite.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Abdication of responsibility mothered by political poltroonery, thy name is Congress.

    Bruce Fein: Congressional Abdication to the Fed

  • Abdication of responsibility mothered by political poltroonery, thy name is Congress.

    Bruce Fein: Congressional Abdication to the Fed

  • I'm used to it; not the least irony of my undetected poltroonery is the awe my fearsome reputation inspires.

    Watershed

  • Abdication of responsibility mothered by political poltroonery, thy name is Congress.

    Bruce Fein: Congressional Abdication to the Fed

  • I couldn't believe such poltroonery, myself, and said so, loudly.

    The Sky Writer

  • We dare not stigmatize Argyle with poltroonery; for, though his life was marked by no action of bravery, yet he behaved with so much composure and dignity in the final and closing scene, that his conduct upon the present and similar occasions, should be rather imputed to indecision than to want of courage.

    A Legend of Montrose

  • I descended the glen more slowly than they, often looking back, and not ill pleased with the poltroonery of my companions, which left me to my own perplexed and moody humour, and induced them to hasten into the broader dale.

    The Monastery

  • Moreover, he had no shame in his poltroonery like the recreant

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

Comments

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  • H.L. Mencken, 1922, "The Libertine": "Even more effective than the fiscal barrier (between man and philandering) is the barrier of poltroonery. The one character that distinguishes man from the other higher vertebrata is his excessive timorousness, his easy yielding, his incapacity for adventures without a crowd behind him."

    May 12, 2008

  • Thomas Carlyle, 1843, "Past and Present": "A conscious abhorrence and intolerance of Folly, of Baseness, Stupidity, Poltroonery and all that brood of things, dwells deep in some men..."

    July 27, 2009

  • Cf. French (la) poltronnerie - "cowardice"

    July 27, 2009

  • from Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution

    March 6, 2011