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4 definitions found
 for cowardice
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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.
     [1913 Webster]
           The cowardice of doing wrong.            --Milton.
     [1913 Webster]
           Moderation was despised as cowardice.    --Macaulay.
     [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: the trait of lacking courage [syn: cowardice,
           cowardliness] [ant: braveness, bravery, courage,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  61 Moby Thesaurus words for "cowardice":
     abject fear, abulia, adynamia, affright, alarm, anemia, atony, awe,
     blah feeling, bloodlessness, blue funk, cachexia, cachexy,
     consternation, cowardliness, debilitation, debility, dismay, dread,
     dullness, etiolation, faintheartedness, faintness, fatigue, fear,
     feeblemindedness, feebleness, flabbiness, flaccidity, frailty,
     fright, funk, horrification, horror, impotence, infirmity,
     languishment, languor, lassitude, listlessness, panic, panic fear,
     phobia, pliability, prostration, pusillanimity, scare,
     sluggishness, softness, spinelessness, stampede, strengthlessness,
     terror, timidity, timorousness, unholy dread, weak will,
     weak-mindedness, weakliness, weakness, weariness

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  COWARDICE. Pusillanimity; fear. 
       2. By the act for the better government of the navy of the United 
  States, passed April 21, 1800, 1 Story, L. U. S. 761; it is enacted, art. 5, 
  "every officer or private who shall not properly observe the orders of his 
  commanding officer, or shall not use his utmost exertions to carry them into 
  execution, when ordered to prepare for, join in, or when actually engaged in 
  battle; or shall, at such time, basely desert his duty or station, either 
  then, or while in sight of an enemy, or shall induce others to do so, every 
  person so offending, shall, on conviction thereof by a general court martial,
  suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge. 
       3.-Art. 6. "Every officer or private who shall, through cowardice, 
  negligence, or disaffection, in the time of action, withdraw from, or keep 
  out of battle, or shall not do his utmost to take or destroy every vessel 
  which it is his duty to encounter, or shall not do his utmost endeavor to 
  afford relief to ships belonging to the United States, every such offender 
  shall, on conviction thereof by a general court martial, suffer death, or 
  such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge." 
       4. By the act for establishing rules and articles for the government of 
  the armies of the United States, passed April 10, 1806, it is enacted, art. 
  52, "any officer or soldier, who shall misbehave himself before the enemy, 
  run away, or shamefully abandon any fort, post, or guard, which he or they 
  may be commanded to defend, or speak, words inducing others to do the like, 
  or shall cast away his arms and ammunition, or who shall quit his post or 
  colors to plunder and pillage, every such offender, being duly convicted 
  thereof, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by 
  the sentence of a general court martial." 

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