Definition of poltroon in English:

poltroon

noun

literary, archaic
  • An utter coward.

    ‘come on, you poltroons!’
    • ‘For reasons best known to themselves, the playlisting poltroons of national radio recently passed on Heartbeat, the new single from this Norwegian singer.’
    • ‘I have to share ‘World's Greatest’ rights with a million poltroons.’
    • ‘It encourages people to mail or email white feathers to Jonah to remind him that he is a lily-livered poltroon.’
    • ‘The new history falsely portrayed the British administrators and armed forces of the 19th Century as either tyrants or poltroons, and the settlers as heroic refugees fleeing from an oppressive government in the British Isles.’
    • ‘I knew what they were both thinking, for I was thinking it myself; he was a yellowed-belly poltroon.’
    cowardly, lily-livered, faint-hearted, chicken-hearted, pigeon-hearted, craven, spiritless, spineless, timid, timorous, fearful, trembling, quaking, shrinking, cowering, afraid of one's own shadow, pusillanimous, weak, feeble, soft
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 16th century: from French poltron, from Italian poltrone, perhaps from poltro ‘sluggard’.

Pronunciation

poltroon

/pɒlˈtruːn/