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How to pronounce poltroon (audio)


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Dictionary definition of poltroon

A person who is characterized by extreme cowardice, timidity, or a complete lack of courage and moral fortitude.
"The cowardly poltroon hid behind his friends when confronted by the bullies."

Detailed meaning of poltroon

When someone is labeled as a poltroon, it suggests that they are easily frightened or intimidated, and they often display a willingness to abandon their principles or responsibilities in the face of danger or adversity. This term carries a strongly negative connotation and implies a severe deficiency in bravery and integrity. A poltroon is typically seen as unreliable in challenging situations, where courage and moral strength are required. In literature and rhetoric, the term "poltroon" is used to denounce individuals who are considered weak-willed and lacking in honor and valor.

Example sentences containing poltroon

1. He was labelled a poltroon for running away from the battlefield.
2. The political opponent accused the leader of being a poltroon.
3. The general couldn't tolerate any poltroons in his army.
4. She refused to associate herself with anyone who was a poltroon.
5. The poltroon couldn't stand up to his boss and ended up getting fired.
6. The audience booed and called the actor a poltroon for backing out of the performance.

History and etymology of poltroon

The noun 'poltroon' has its origins in the Italian language, specifically from the word 'poltrone,' which referred to a coward or a lazy person. It evolved from the Latin 'pollice truncus,' where 'pollice' means 'thumb' and 'truncus' means 'cut off.' In medieval Italy, a 'poltrone' was someone who had lost a thumb, making them unable to wield a weapon effectively and thus considered cowardly. This etymological journey underscores the notion of extreme cowardice and a lack of courage associated with 'poltroon.' Over time, the term entered the English language in the 16th century, preserving its meaning of describing a person characterized by timidity, cowardice, and a complete absence of moral fortitude.

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Further usage examples of poltroon

1. The poltroon was too afraid to jump off the cliff into the water.
2. The teacher dismissed the student's excuses as the words of a poltroon.
3. The coach yelled at the poltroon on the team for not putting in any effort.
4. The poltroon's lack of bravery cost his team the game.
5. The author described the antagonist as a poltroon in his book.
6. He was labeled a poltroon for fleeing the battle when his comrades needed him.
7. The boss criticized his employee's poltroon behavior during the crisis.
8. Facing a challenge, his inner poltroon emerged, and he backed down.
9. The poltroon's reluctance to stand up for what's right disappointed everyone.
10. She refused to associate with a poltroon who couldn't face adversity.
11. The poltroon's fear of public speaking kept him from pursuing leadership roles.
12. His poltroon attitude prevented him from taking risks and seizing opportunities.
13. The soldier's actions on the battlefield showed that he was no poltroon.
14. The team needed a leader, not a poltroon who shied away from tough decisions.
15. His poltroon behavior tarnished his reputation among his peers.
16. The poltroon's inability to confront bullies made him a target.
17. A poltroon like him should never be entrusted with important tasks.
18. The poltroon's lack of courage held him back in both personal and professional life.
19. She was disappointed by her friend's poltroon reaction to the challenge.
20. The poltroon's unwillingness to face criticism hindered his growth.
21. The coach urged his players to overcome their inner poltroons and play with heart.
22. Being a poltroon in the face of adversity is not a trait anyone admires.
23. The poltroon's fear of confrontation made it difficult for him to resolve conflicts.
24. The poltroon's excuses couldn't justify his failure to act when needed.
25. His decision to flee the scene earned him the reputation of a poltroon.



coward, hero, brave, courageous


SAT 5 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 3, Lethargy and Hopelessness

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