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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed into late Middle English from Old French temoros, from Medieval Latin timorosus, from Latin timor (fear), from timeō (I fear). Doublet of timoroso.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɪməɹəs/, /ˈtɪmɹəs/
  • (file)


timorous (comparative more timorous, superlative most timorous)

  1. fearful; afraid; timid
    • 1785, Robert Burns, To a Mouse
      Wee sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,
      Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!
    • 1898, H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, London: William Heinemann, page 219:
      [H]e was one of those weak creatures full of a shifty cunning - who face neither God nor man, who face not even themselves, void of pride, timorous, anæmic, hateful souls.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 16]]”, in Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      He turned a long you are wrong gaze on Stephen of timorous dark pride at the soft impeachment with a glance also of entreaty for he seemed to glean in a kind of a way that it wasn't all exactly.
    • 1934, George Orwell, Burmese Days:
      The suspect was a man of forty, with a grey, timorous face, dressed only in a ragged longyi kilted to the knee, beneath which his lank, curved shins were specked with tick-bites.



Related terms[edit]