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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.
What a miserable little poltroon had fear, engendered of unjust punishment, made of me in those days
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the country of poltroons and those who nod their heads, the moral dimension of a nation stripped naked exploded at once, Rizaov concludes.
This was apparently a sales ploy from poltroons to encourage purchase, but who in their right mind - other than those suffering from colour blindness or males wishing to explore their feminine side - would consider wearing one as a leisure garment?