Definition of timorous in English:



  • Showing or suffering from nervousness, fear, or a lack of confidence.

    ‘a timorous voice’
    • ‘But the idea that a woman cannot be expected to cope with going into a witness box, where she will be publicly identified, is equally stereotypical: it implies a degraded notion of weak and timorous women.’
    • ‘Neil Gatland as Malvolio displays an austere exterior well suited to his bitter antagonism with Sir Toby and yet is very funny to watch when at last it cracks into a hopeful, timorous smile.’
    • ‘But sadly it is all too typical of the dismissive attitude adopted by those at the Executive who seem to think that an airy-fairy, and probably timorous, arts lobby will go away if told that everything will be all right.’
    • ‘Eileen wants a man with ‘a nice face, kind eyes and a gentle voice,’ but can only break out of her meek and timorous shell in her fantasies.’
    • ‘I still cannot quite believe that this cowering timorous country of ours has produced such an extravagant masterpiece, and it has achieved something that not many modern buildings do - it has won the affection of those who use it.’
    • ‘Man, these people are just too stupid to be trusted with appointments - and too timorous to deserve to a university position from which to dribble out the contents of their weak little minds.’
    • ‘The best departments will encourage an entrepreneurship of information and ideas, which in turn requires daring, not conformity, and a cool-eyed rather than a timorous attitude to risk.’
    • ‘But the thinking behind it is consistent with the rather timorous, hands-off approach to recent conflicts.’
    • ‘Some are behemoths in the truest sense of the word, massive as oil tankers, others, small knock-kneed and timorous and as prone to panic attacks as barking deer.’
    • ‘Even a timorous proposal to convert taxis from diesel to less-polluting petrol five years ago failed to win legislative support.’
    • ‘In terms of modern PC attitudes toward war and national solidarity, it's a big bucket of cold water down the pants of the timorous, and it reminds you how unapologetic popular patriotism used to be.’
    • ‘So there are enormous consequences for all of us when the owners elect not to act like owners, but like timorous lackeys desperate to please management.’
    • ‘Girls, allegedly timorous and lacking in confidence, now outnumber boys in student government, in honor societies, on school newspapers, and in debating clubs.’
    • ‘They've swiped the Hippocratic Oath: first, do no harm - and as a result their rhetoric and critiques are timorous and toothless.’
    • ‘There is still a strong impression that the party's political approach remains timorous and lacks creativity when it comes to figuring out new responses to old problems.’
    • ‘At the moment, however, he is tackling arguably his most challenging subject, one which many lesser and more timorous artists would not dare contemplate for fear that it might ruin their fragile reputations.’
    • ‘The Welshman, who had stepped away from Livingston's timorous back line, seemed almost to be in the prone position when he wheeled to thrash a low volley inside the left-hand post.’
    • ‘If it had been, a particularly vicious correction must have occurred to turn Britain back into the timorous, conservative country it became in the Seventies.’
    • ‘And deep in their tiny, timorous hearts they know it.’
    • ‘And we have become a surprisingly timorous nation because we don't ask our leaders, our politicians serious questions.’
    easily frightened, lacking courage, fearful, apprehensive, faint-hearted
    trembling, quaking, cowering, weak-kneed
    shy, diffident, bashful, self-effacing, shrinking, unassuming, unassertive, reserved, retiring, reticent, quiet, timid, nervous, modest, demure, coy, meek, humble
    wimpish, sissy, yellow, yellow-bellied, chicken, gutless, trepidatious
    poor-spirited, recreant
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Late Middle English (in the sense feeling fear): from Old French temoreus, from medieval Latin timorosus, from Latin timor fear from timere to fear.