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An utter coward.

[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.]

pol·troon′er·y n.


(pɒlˈtruːn) or


an abject or contemptible coward
a rare word for cowardly
[C16: from Old French poultron, from Old Italian poltrone lazy good-for-nothing, apparently from poltrīre to lie indolently in bed, from poltro bed]



1. a wretched coward; craven.
2. marked by utter cowardice.
[1520–30; < Middle French poultron < early Italian poltrone idler, coward, derivative of poltro foal < Vulgar Latin *pulliter, derivative of Latin pullus young animal; see foal]
pol•troon′er•y, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.poltroon - an abject coward
coward - a person who shows fear or timidity
Adj.1.poltroon - characterized by complete cowardliness
cowardly, fearful - lacking courage; ignobly timid and faint-hearted; "cowardly dogs, ye will not aid me then"- P.B.Shelley


An ignoble, uncourageous person:


(archaic) [pɒlˈtruːn] Ncobarde mf


n (liter)feiger Wicht, Memme f
References in classic literature ?
Then, having said everything that could stir a man's spleen or pique his valor, they would dare their imaginary hearers, now that the Bannacks were few in number, to come and take their revenge--receiving no reply to this valorous bravado, they would conclude by all kinds of sneers and insults, deriding the Blackfeet for dastards and poltroons, that dared not accept their challenge.
Should they fall upon a band of inferior force, or upon a village, weakly defended, they act with the ferocity of true poltroons, slaying all the men, and carrying off the women and children as slaves.
Russians, when abroad, are over-apt to play the poltroon, to watch all their words, and to wonder what people are thinking of their conduct, or whether such and such a thing is 'comme il faut.
It would be easier for the weakest poltroon that lives, to erase himself from existence, than to erase one letter of his name or crimes from the knitted register of Madame Defarge.
No lying poltroon, but a courageous man whom you all love.
There is nothing beyond that door, with thou, poltroon, to which death in this little chamber would not be preferable.
What a miserable little poltroon had fear, engendered of unjust punishment, made of me in those days
The most pusillanimous of policy-making poltroons fret that should the United States curb its generosity and demand that Pakistan honour its varied commitments like any other responsible state, Pakistan may fail and the Islamist barbarians will knock down the nuclear gates with grisly consequences for humanity.
Among the works the orchestra is due to perform is Police drummer Stewart Copeland's Poltroons in Paradise percussion concerto which will get its Chinese premiere in Beijing on October 5.
The Democrats are all disarmament freaks and the Republicans offer nothing but RINO poltroons and worse.
Not long ago the GDN ran a story about a security forces policeman, a very brave policeman, whose car was firebombed by a pack of poltroons (yes thugs, look it up) while he was attending a police graduation ceremony which included his son.
Such a reckless, blundering, profligate combination called a government the colony has never before been afflicted with"' (132) Though the Telegram had originally supported the Reform Party, it now had shifted loyalties, supporting the Liberals under Whiteway; "[a]way with such contemptible poltroons," the paper cried, "and let us have a whole Government of honest men