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See also: Craven
- Unwilling to fight; lacking even the rudiments of courage; extremely cowardly.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:cowardly
- 1808 February 22, Walter Scott, “(please specify the introduction or canto number, or chapter name)”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: […] J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, […]; London: William Miller, and John Murray, →OCLC:
- The poor craven bridegroom said never a word.
- 2010, Bruce Cumings, The Korean War:
- Prime Minister Abe's fumbling and craven performance took place on a national holiday in Korea, marking the country wide uprising against the Japanese colonial rule that began on March 1, 1919. March 1 is also the day in 1932 that Japan chose to inaugurate Manchukuo (after seizing northeastern China).
- 2020 October 12, Andrew Marantz, quoting Dave Willner, “Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself”, in The New Yorker:
- “But they’ve made some big carve-outs that are just absolute nonsense. There’s no perfect approach to content moderation, but they could at least try to look less transparently craven and incoherent.”
- 2023 November 15, Christian Wolmar, “Ministers should carry the can for ticket office fiasco”, in RAIL, number 996, page 47:
- Now, I hold no candle for the train operators, and I think that in the main they have been far too craven about any government proposals. But in this instance, they have been badly traduced, led up the hill, and then chucked back down it.
craven (plural cravens)
- To make craven.
- 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iv]:
- There is a prohibition so divine / That cravens my weak hand.
- “craven”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- “craven”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- gluttonous, greedy
- Synonyms: gravalicious, licky-licky, nyamy-nyamy
- Da bwoy deh too damn craven. 'Im nuh come nyam off all a di food inna mi pot.
- That boy's bloody greedy. Can you believe he ate all the food in my pot?
- 2002, Frederic Gomes Cassidy, Robert Brock Le Page, Dictionary of Jamaican English (in English), →ISBN, page 128:
- “Anancy .. walk home wid Puss an sey 'tap Bra Puss is how you dah play so nice wid Rat an noh eat him yet? Yuh no know sey Rat is nice meat?' Hear puss wid him craven self, 'true Bra Nancy?' […] ”
- Anancy was walking back home with Cat and said "Wait a minute, Br'er Cat. How come you were playing so nice with Rat? Why didn't you eat him? Don't you know that Rat tastes great?' That greedy cat replied, 'Is that so, Br'er Anancy?' […]
- To ask or petition (for something)
- c. 1225, “Introduction”, in Ancrene Ƿiſſe (MS. Corpus Christi 402), Herefordshire, published c. 1235, folio 1, verso; republished at Cambridge: Parker Library on the Web, 2018 January:
- Ant ȝe mine leoue ſuſtren habbeð moni dei icrauet on me efter riƿle
- And you, my beloved sisters, have asked me for a rule many times.
- To demand or claim; to ask forcefully.
- To ask or inquire (about something)
- (rare) To want or crave.
- (rare) To charge; to calumniate.
Conjugation of craven (weak in -ed)
1Sometimes used as a formal 2nd-person singular.