Definition of cower in US English:



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  • Crouch down in fear.

    ‘children cowered in terror as the shoot-out erupted’
    • ‘The courtier sat in the corner cowering in fear as a hooded figure with an axe stepped closer.’
    • ‘So brave, he was afraid of nothing, and yet, here he was, cowering with fear.’
    • ‘Ashley screamed with a look so threatening that the devil himself would have cowered in fear.’
    • ‘One cowered in fear, while the other looked down in loathing.’
    • ‘Maybe the rest of the city is quivering in terror, cowering at home, hiding with unconquerable fear?’
    • ‘How could a town live between those huge monstrous creatures without cowering in fear?’
    • ‘Phoenix screamed at her parents, who were now cowering in fear at their daughter standing before them.’
    • ‘They cower in fear and are thus powerless, because somebody who feels fear is easily controlled, intimidated and subjugated.’
    • ‘So now I have stacks and racks of digital video tape and I cower in fear of the editing process.’
    • ‘It is not we who should cower in fear; it is they who should run for their lives.’
    • ‘She was now cowering in fear as it began to charge at her with all of its strength.’
    • ‘The woman inside sat half out of a sleeping bag, cowering in fear and confusion.’
    • ‘She could be sucked down the drain and the world would have one less evil dictator to cower in fear from.’
    • ‘When it hissed, the very heavens shook, and when it growled, the earth cowered in fear.’
    • ‘He stepped closer as she cowered in fear and a beam of moonlight illuminated his face.’
    • ‘He cowered in a hedge fearing she would return to run him over, the Feilding High Court was told.’
    • ‘Joel yelled, making Lacey cower in fear of his sudden burst of anger.’
    • ‘Now I am one of those parents, the one who makes the principal cower in fear as she walks through the door.’
    • ‘Can't decide whether to crouch and cower while I await the apocalypse or run determinedly into it.’
    • ‘She tried to be strong, to draw courage unto herself, but it failed her and she cowered in fear.’
    cringe, shrink, crouch, recoil, flinch, pull back, back away, draw back, shudder, shiver, tremble, shake, quake, grovel, blench, blanch, quail
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Middle English: from Middle Low German kūren ‘lie in wait’, of unknown ultimate origin.