\ \ [16] Pusillanimous means etymologically ‘tiny-spirited’. It comes from late Latin pūsillanimis, a compound adjective formed from pūsillusvery small or weak’ (a descendant of the same base as produced Latin puerchild, boy’, source of English puerile) and animusmind, spirit’ (source of English animate).

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Pusillanimous — Pu sil*lan i*mous, a. [L. pusillanimis; pusillus very little (dim. of pusus a little boy; cf. puer a boy, E. puerile) + animus the mind: cf. F. pusillanime. See {Animosity}.] 1. Destitute of a manly or courageous strength and firmness of mind; of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pusillanimous — index caitiff, recreant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • pusillanimous — late 14c. (implied in pusillanimity), from L.L. pusillanimis having little courage (used in Church L. to translate Gk. oligopsychos small souled ), from L. pusillis very weak, little (dim. of pullus young animal; see FOAL (Cf. foal) (n.)) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pusillanimous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ lacking courage; timid. DERIVATIVES pusillanimity noun. ORIGIN from Latin pusillus very small + animus mind …   English terms dictionary

  • pusillanimous — [pyo͞o΄si lan′ə məs] adj. [LL(Ec) pusillanimis < L pusillus, tiny (dim. of pusus, little boy, akin to puer: see PUERILE) + animus, the mind (see ANIMAL) + OUS] 1. timid, cowardly, or irresolute; fainthearted 2. proceeding from or showing a… …   English World dictionary

  • pusillanimous — [[t]pju͟ːsɪlæ̱nɪməs[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you say that someone is pusillanimous, you mean that they are timid or afraid. [FORMAL] The authorities have been too pusillanimous in merely condemning the violence. Syn: cowardly Ant: brave …   English dictionary

  • pusillanimous — adjective /pjuːsɪlˈænɪmʊs,pjuːsəlˈænəmʊs/ Showing ignoble cowardice, or contemptible timidity The soldier deserted his troop in a pusillanimous manner. See Also: pusillanimously, pusillanimousness …   Wiktionary

  • pusillanimous — [16] Pusillanimous means etymologically ‘tiny spirited’. It comes from late Latin pūsillanimis, a compound adjective formed from pūsillus ‘very small or weak’ (a descendant of the same base as produced Latin puer ‘child, boy’, source of English… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • pusillanimous — adjective with the tough issues facing this city, the last thing we need is another pusillanimous mayor Syn: timid, timorous, cowardly, fearful, faint hearted, lily livered, spineless, craven, shrinking; informal chicken, gutless, wimpy, wimpish …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • pusillanimous — adjective Etymology: Late Latin pusillanimis, from Latin pusillus very small (diminutive of pusus boy) + animus spirit; perhaps akin to Latin puer child more at puerile, animate Date: 1586 lacking courage and resolution ; marked by contemptible… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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