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pusillanimous Options
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Joined: 3/7/2009
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Location: Inside Farlex computers

(adjective) Lacking courage; cowardly.

Synonyms: spineless, craven

Usage: Why, you pusillanimous piece of dirt, you'd run with your tail between your legs if I said boo!
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 2:50:13 AM

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Joined: 4/18/2014
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Location: Mayo, Connaught, Ireland
: lacking or showing a lack of courage and manly strength and resolution : marked by mean-spirited and contemptible timidity

<the policy of watchful waiting denounced as pusillanimous — Allan Nevins & H. S. Commager>


Late Latin pusillanimis, from Latin pusillus very small (diminutive of pusus small child) + animus soul, mind, spirit; akin to Latin puer child, Sanskrit putva child, son — more at few, animate

First Known Use: 15th century


chicken, chickenhearted, chicken-livered, craven, dastardly, gutless, lily-livered, milk-livered [archaic], poltroon, cowardly, recreant, spineless, unheroic, yellow


brave, courageous, daring, dauntless, doughty, fearless, gallant, greathearted, gutsy, hardy, heroic (also heroical), intrepid, lionhearted, stalwart, stout, stouthearted, valiant, valorous

Related Words:

diffident, fainthearted, fearful, timid, timorous; afraid, frightened, scared; careful, cautious, wary; bashful, coy, shy; feeble, soft, unmanly, weak

Near Antonyms:

audacious, bold, brazen, cheeky, nervy; plucky, spirited, spunky; determined, resolute
Elisabeth Hofer
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 3:25:43 AM

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Location: Vienna, Vienna, Austria
"Don't be such a pusillanimous boy, man!"
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 3:30:41 AM

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Joined: 6/30/2010
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A cat in an adage, in fact.
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 6:40:12 AM
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Some people are outraged at what they consider to be the PUSILLANIMOUS policies of a certain politician who, they say, should be leading the world in dealing with a lot of its bad guys.
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 7:06:17 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/4/2014
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Location: Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
In Play: Today's word is rather long, but don't be too pusillanimous to try it when you want to refer to cowardice in a way that will go over the heads of most people: "The fact of the matter is that Lois Riske still lives in an apartment because she is too pusillanimous to assume a mortgage." It is particularly useful when talking about thrill rides like bungee jumping and roller coasters: "I thought Blanche Dwight too pusillanimous to ride the roller coaster, but she screwed up her courage and surprised us all."

Word History: Today's Word comes from Late Latin pusillanimis, a compound comprising pusillus "weak", from pullus " young animal" + animus "mind, soul". Pullus, the origin of English pullet, comes from the Proto-Indo-European root pau- "small", unchanged in Latin paucus "small". This word became Spanish poco "little" and French peu "little, few". In English it turned up as few and in foal. The ani- in animus goes back to a PIE word meaning "breath", also present in Greek animos "wind". The connection was between the wind, breath, and the soul, which ancients sometimes associated with the breath on a cold day.
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 9:06:09 AM
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Location: Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Boo hoo! huh, learn something everyday
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