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- poltron (obsolete)
poltroon (plural poltroons)
- An ignoble or total coward; a dastard; a mean-spirited wretch.
- c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- Patience is for poltroons, such as he:
He durst not sit there, had your father lived.
- 1778, George Washington, to Charles Lee following an act of insubordination:
- You damned poltroon, you never tried them!
- 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 38, in The History of Pendennis. […], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, […], OCLC 2057953:
- Strong had long understood Sir Francis Clavering’s character, as that of a man utterly weak in purpose, in principle, and intellect, a moral and physical trifler and poltroon.
- 1959, Robert A.Heinlein, Starship Troopers:
- First is our unbreakable rule that every candidate must be a trained trooper, blooded under fire, a veteran of combat drops. No other army in history has stuck to this rule, although some came close. Most great military schools of the past — Saint Cyr, West Point, Sandhurst, Colorado Springs didn’t even pretend to follow it; they accepted civilian boys, trained them, commissioned them, sent them out with no battle experience to command men... and sometimes discovered too late that this smart young ‘officer’ was a fool, a poltroon, or a hysteric.
- 2018 Jared, "Tech Evangelist", Silicon Valley episode 42, 5 minutes
- You judas, you cow-handed poltroon, we thought you were a stallion.
an ignoble or arrant coward
cowardly — see cowardly