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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 ?
With the pack-saddle I do not concern myself; but I may tell you on that head that my squire Sancho asked my permission to strip off the caparison of this vanquished poltroon's steed, and with it adorn his own; I allowed him, and he took it; and as to its having been changed from a caparison into a pack-saddle, I can give no explanation except the usual one, that such transformations will take place in adventures of chivalry.
He hated Pip for a poltroon. Snatching the boat-knife from its sheath, he suspended its sharp edge over the line, and turning towards Stubb, exclaimed interrogatively, cut?
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.' In short, they are over-apt to cosset themselves, and to lay claim to great importance.
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!
"Not before I have killed you, poltroon!" cried D'Artagnan, making the best face possible, and never retreating one step before his three assailants, who continued to shower blows upon him.
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.
Capping the meal are two dessert choices: mangga't suman in the form of fried panutsa rice cake stuffed with mangoes, then topped with mango semifreddo and covered with shards of meringue; and the tropics, which is house-churned coconut ice cream with roasted pineapples, gluten-free poltroon and lattice made with fish sauce.
All chemical reagents including PVA and PEG were purchased from Shanghai Aladdin biochemical Poltroon Technologies Inc.