Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


If ever one cowered visibly in this world, Hamish Channing did then.

Jonas shrunk from looking at him, and cowered down into the chair by which he had held.

Sim cowered in a corner of the box, with his lank fingers in his long hair.

He glared at Nat Burns, who cowered silent and miserable in his corner.

She turned on him, silent, a moment: he cowered and evaded her eyes.

His head bowed on his breast, and he giggled and cowered alternately.

Alas, she knew; she knew, and cowered against the door whitefaced and shaking.

In the night he had cowered before Hermione and had been cruel with himself.

She cowered under the bedclothes, she told me, expecting him to strike her.

Again I cowered behind the crowd, and her glance was carried onward.


c.1300, probably from Middle Low German *kuren "lie in wait" (Modern German kauern), or similar Scandinavian words meaning "to squat" and "to doze" (e.g. Old Norse kura, Danish, Norwegian kure, Swedish kura). Thus unrelated to coward. Related: Cowered; cowering.