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I wonder what the verb for the action of a "coward" is.

I remember there seems to be a verb form similar to coward, but coward cannot be a verb.

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I would rephrase the sentence to use cowardly but that doesn't the question :P – Liam William Oct 1 '11 at 16:14
up vote 28 down vote accepted

"Cower" may be the verb you remember. One of its meanings is "to sink through fear".

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More to the point, a perfectly good definition of "coward" is "one who cowers". – FumbleFingers Oct 1 '11 at 14:37

Cowards are multifaceted!

In addition to cowering, they can flee, retreat, shy away, recoil, flinch, hide, quail, tremble, shrink, wilt, blanch, wet themselves...

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The coward displays cowardice. He or she commits an act of cowardice. Cowards behave in a cowardly manner. If especially egregious, the act in question is craven.

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There’s ‘funk’ meaning ‘to flinch or shrink through fear’. In the US, apparently, ‘flink’, means ‘to behave in a cowardly manner’. (OED)

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I'm from the US, and I've never heard "flink". "Fink", on the other hand, means to rat someone out. – simchona Oct 1 '11 at 17:23
Yes, it only "apparently" means that. I've never, ever heard it (as a Canadian, mind you). – Andrew Vit Oct 1 '11 at 18:24

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