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Lacking courage; cowardly.

chick′en·heart′ed·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




easily frightened; cowardly
ˌchicken-ˈheartedly adv
ˌchicken-ˈheartedness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


fearful; cowardly.
[1675–85, Amer.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


[ˈtʃɪkɪnˌhɑːtɪd] ADJcobarde, gallina
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(ˈtʃikin) noun
1. a young bird, especially a young hen. She keeps chickens.
2. its flesh used as food. a plate of fried chicken.
3. (slang.) a coward.
ˌchicken-ˈhearted adjective
ˈchicken-pox noun
an infectious disease with fever and red itchy spots.
chicken out
to avoid doing something because of cowardice. He chickened out at the last minute.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
Again: if under the sudden anguish of a wound the receiver of it makes a grimace, he falls some degrees in the estimation of his fellows; his corps are ashamed of him: they call him "hare foot," which is the German equivalent for chicken-hearted.
"Nothing chicken-hearted about him.--Say, I only know tank-swimmin', an' bay-swimmin', but now I'm goin' to learn ocean-swimmin'.
To destroy our malefactors piece-meal, drying up in their veins, drop by drop, the blood we are too chicken-hearted to shed by a single blow which would at once put a period to their sufferings, is deemed to be infinitely preferable to the old-fashioned punishment of gibbeting--much less annoying to the victim, and more in accordance with the refined spirit of the age; and yet how feeble is all language to describe the horrors we inflict upon these wretches, whom we mason up in the cells of our prisons, and condemn to perpetual solitude in the very heart of our population.
I don't exactly hate them myself, but I haven't any regard for chicken-hearted four-flushers."
Here Blifil sighed bitterly; upon which Western, whose eyes were full of tears at the praise of Sophia, blubbered out, "Don't be chicken-hearted, for shat ha her, d--n me, shat ha her, if she was twenty times as good."
You are a chicken-hearted fellow, Gania!" said Varia, looking at her brother with contempt.
"There will be a regular fight about this matter, or the old fellow has suddenly grown chicken-hearted."