cowering


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.

cow·er

 (kou′ər)
intr.v. cow·ered, cow·er·ing, cow·ers
To cringe in fear.

[Middle English couren, of Scandinavian origin.]
References in classic literature ?
Duncan cast his eyes behind him, and saw that the trembling sisters were cowering in the far corner of the building, while the Mohicans stood in the shadow, like two upright posts, ready, and apparently willing, to strike when the blow should be needed.
For the whole of the first day they wandered about in the midst of deafening confusion, utterly lost; and it was only at night that, cowering in the doorway of a house, they were finally discovered and taken by a policeman to the station.
He hesitated, pulled one way by desire, the other way by fear; then he stole to the door and peeped out, listening; and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in a whisper, and with all the cowering apprehension of one who was venturing upon awful ground and speaking of things whose very mention might be freighted with death.
She saw the abject manikin before her cowering, silent, in his chair.
Cowering forward for warmth and to make me a screen against the wind, the convicts were closer to me than before.
Smilash, bareheaded, without a coat, his corduroy vest and trousers heavy with rain; a rough-looking, middle-aged man, poorly dressed like a shepherd, wet as Smilash, with the expression, piteous, patient, and desperate, of one hard driven by ill-fortune, and at the end of his resources; two little children, a boy and a girl, almost naked, cowering under an old sack that had served them as an umbrella; and, lying on the settee where the two men had laid it, a heap of wretched wearing apparel, sacking, and rotten matting, with Smilash's coat and sou'wester, the whole covering a bundle which presently proved to be an exhausted woman with a tiny infant at her breast.
Mowgli thrust his dead branch into the fire till the twigs lit and crackled, and whirled it above his head among the cowering wolves.
Instead, terror, stark, paralyzing terror, was mirrored in her eyes, in the expression of her mouth, in the tense, cowering attitude of her body.
It did not try to get away, but crouched down, quivering and cowering, and was in such a pitiable state of terror that I tried, though without effect, to comfort it.
Here, crouching and cowering be- hind some trees, the men clung with desperation, as if threatened by a wave.
Then, though as lightly as a sunbeam on a cloud, she placed her foot upon the cowering form, and extended her hand to meet that of the Governor.
When he saw this Agamemnon rebuked them and said, "Son of Peteos, and you other, steeped in cunning, heart of guile, why stand you here cowering and waiting on others?