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.

  • I would rephrase the sentence to use cowardly but that doesn't the question :P – William Oct 1 '11 at 16:14

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

  • 1
    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...


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.


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
  • 1
    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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