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- Showing ignoble cowardice, or contemptible timidity. [from 16th c.]
- The soldier deserted his troop in a pusillanimous manner.
- 1882 — Mark Twain, On the Decay of the Art of Lying .
- Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling.
- 2007, David Potter, chapter 1, in The Emperors of Rome, page 36:
- Octavian, by contrast, was pusillanimous in battle ... but proved himself extremely adept in the political arena