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Cower   /kˈaʊər/   Listen
Cower

verb
(past & past part. cowered; pres. part. cowering)
1.
Crouch or curl up.  Synonym: huddle.
2.
Show submission or fear.  Synonyms: crawl, creep, cringe, fawn, grovel.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Cower" Quotes from Famous Books



... inspected the list at the office to see whether our names were there—in order to avoid us. But you cannot avoid us. We do not mean that you shall avoid us. We will dog you now through life—not by lies or subterfuges, as you say, but openly and honestly. It is YOU who need to slink and cower, not we. The prosecutor need not descend to the ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... sir?" She turned into a narrow path in the shadow of arches, clothed by a great Austrian brier, on which here and there a yellow flame still glowed. "Mr. Boyce—when I meet you in company you shrink and cower detestably; when I meet you alone, you fence with me impudently enough and shrewdly; and always you avoid me while you can. I suppose there's in all this something more than the freaks of a fool. Then it's fear. Prithee, sir, why in God's name are ...
— The Highwayman • H.C. Bailey

... she began to cower. She shrank back in her seat, putting up her hands to shield her face ...
— The Pagans • Arlo Bates

... before which even Eliza herself, hardened wretch as she seemed, used to cower and shiver; and that was the great black bumble-bee, the largest and most powerful of the British bee-kind. When one of these dangerous monsters, a burly, buzzing bourgeois, got entangled in her web, Eliza, shaking in her shoes (I allow her those shoes by poetical ...
— Science in Arcady • Grant Allen

... of a dying man. A fitful storm was brewing, and between the plashes of rain on the windows there was the silence of death. All nature suffers in such moments, the trees writhe in pain and hide their heads; the birds of the fields cower under the bushes; the streets of cities are deserted. I was suffering from my wound. But a short time before I had a mistress and a friend. The mistress had deceived me and the friend had stretched me on a bed of pain. I could not ...
— Child of a Century, Complete • Alfred de Musset

... ermine-robe of Power, Who would not have the majesty of kings When tremble thrones and courts and nations cower, And strange alarms await all royal things— When armed horsemen guard their wanderings And palaces are silenced with affright, When morn discovers with her gleaming wings The dark and direful mysteries of the night, And men alternate weep and ...
— The Minstrel - A Collection of Poems • Lennox Amott

... home, of hope, of Heaven bereft; It is the destiny of man To cower beneath his Maker's ban, And hide from ...
— Fringilla: Some Tales In Verse • Richard Doddridge Blackmore

... my boyhood I have lived in terror of the just God—the just God—who visits the sins of the fathers upon the children even to the third and fourth generation. I—Baird—" his voice dropping, his face pallid, "I have hated Him. I keep His laws, it is my fate to preach His word—and I cower before Him as a slave before a tyrant, with ...
— In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... interest you," remarked Kennedy, still holding Carroll in his vise-like grip, while the drug fiend's shattered nerves caused him to cower and tremble, "to know that a special detective working for me has located Mr. and Mrs. Dawson at Bar Harbor, where they are enjoying a quiet honeymoon. Brown is safely in the custody of his counsel, ready to appear and clear himself as soon as the public opinion which has been falsely ...
— The Poisoned Pen • Arthur B. Reeve

... hardly know the meaning of; And the mute birds Are glancing at Love From out their shade of leaf and flower, Trembling at treacheries Which even in noonday cower. Heed, heed not what I said Of frenzied hosts of men, More fools than I, On envy, hatred fed, Who kill, and die— Spake I not plainly, then? Yet Pity ...
— Collected Poems 1901-1918 in Two Volumes - Volume I. • Walter de la Mare

... was helpless in the grasp of old Boreas, the inhabitants did little except cower in their lodges around their fires and eat and sleep. This sort of existence grew almost intolerable to the brothers. With every muscle and nerve yearning for action, they became impatient and sometimes ...
— Deerfoot in The Mountains • Edward S. Ellis

... the red glare of the burning shone On deeds so dire the pure Gods might not bear, Save Ares only, long to look thereon, But with a cloud they darken'd all the air. And, even then, within the temple fair Of chaste Athene, did Cassandra cower, And cried aloud an unavailing prayer; For Aias was the master ...
— Helen of Troy • Andrew Lang

... in mortal fear, led by all his training to expect nothing less than death; yet he did not cower away from them. Instead, he returned their looks with lean self-sufficiency, and finally centred his gaze upon Joan, the first white ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... men in bombazine, never like ending at all;—when Friedrich Wilhelm did suddenly end it; suddenly locked up his own Catholic establishments and revenues, and quietly inexorable put the key in his pocket; as it were, drew his own whip, with a "Will you whip MY Jew?"—and we had to cower out of the affair, Kaiser himself ordering us, in a most humiliated manner! Readers can judge whether Kur-Pfalz was likely to have a kindly note of Friedrich Wilhelm in that corner of his memory. The poor man felt so disgusted with Heidelberg, he quitted it ...
— History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 • Thomas Carlyle

... sidewalk, figuratively casting from him the shards and potsherds of his reawakened anticipations, now all so rudely shattered again. He was doomed. It would inevitably be his fate to cower in these ...
— The Life of the Party • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... after brother, no man for another cares. The gods in heaven are frightened, refuge they seek, Upward they mount to the heaven of Anu. Like a dog in his lair, So cower the gods together at the bars of heaven. Ishtar cries out in pain, loud cries the exalted goddess:— All is turned to mire. This evil to the gods I announced, to the gods foretold the evil. This exterminating war foretold Against my race of mankind. Not for this bare I men that like ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... thought in which our terrors arrive is always at last a gospel, is glad tidings. Dante, Paul, Swedenborg, Edwards have seen the pit. It opens only in the holiness of such men,—is a thunder out of clear sky, before which generations of the impure, like brute beasts, tremble and cower. An equal moral genius will see that the ascension of an immortal Love has left behind this vacuum, mitigated, not deepened, by the furniture of devils and their flame. Men strive in vain to be afflicted by a revelation of the best and worst. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 76, February, 1864 • Various

... dwell with slaves, nor reign O'er those who cower to take a tyrant's yoke; She left the down-trod nations in disdain, And flew to Greece, when Liberty awoke, New-born, amid those glorious vales, and broke Sceptre and chain with her fair youthful hands: As rocks are shivered in the thunder-stroke. And lo! in full-grown strength, ...
— Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant - Household Edition • William Cullen Bryant

... looking about his chaotic domain disparagingly, "and they say they may have to have me out here next Sunday—somebody's sick or missing. But they won't," he continued darkly. It was a threat, we felt—a threat that would make some presumptuous superior cower and conform. "I really belong at our branch in Dellwood Park, where there is something; not out here, beyond the last of everything." And he said more to indicate that his energies and abilities were temporarily ...
— On the Stairs • Henry B. Fuller

... decays, The endless round of beauty's yearly birth, And nations' rise and fall—were in the flower, And read themselves in silence. Heavenly mirth Awoke in my sad heart. For one whole hour I praised the God of snowdrops. But at height The bliss gave way. Next, faith began to cower; And then the snowdrop vanished from ...
— Poetical Works of George MacDonald, Vol. 2 • George MacDonald

... be cast down. You, I trust, are not the man to cower at such a moment. Do not be afraid to stand up your whole length in ...
— The American Prejudice Against Color - An Authentic Narrative, Showing How Easily The Nation Got - Into An Uproar. • William G. Allen

... cringe and whine, And cower in the weeping air— But, oh, she was no kin of mine, And so I ...
— Nets to Catch the Wind • Elinor Wylie

... the runner directed his course to the garden. Louise's little dog ran to meet him, barking furiously, but came back, to cower, creep, and growl behind its mistress; for even dumb animals can distinguish when men are driven on by the furious energy of irresistible passion, and dread to cross or encounter them in their career. ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... into his arms, sed he'd bet 5 dollars he could lick the Crisis in a fair stand-up fight, if he wouldn't draw a knife on him. So it went—sum was for war, and sum was for peace. The skoolmaster, however, sed the Slave Oligarky must cower at the feet of the North ere a year had flowed by, or pass over his dead corpse. "Esto perpetua!" he added! "And sine qua non also!" sed I, sternly, wishing to make a impression onto the villagers. "Requiescat in pace!" sed the ...
— The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 2 • Charles Farrar Browne

... seconds. He had started on his rounds early, in order to attract as many children as possible before school-time, and I doubt if the poor little thing had had any breakfast. She was sick besides. She would dance a few steps and then cower down and tremble, and look at him so appealingly, that only a brute could have had the heart to strike her as he did. When he found that all his jerking was in vain, he gave her several hard blows with the other end of the rope. At that ...
— The Story of Dago • Annie Fellows-Johnston

... steeple with the flames mounting closer round them and the troopers whooping jubilantly outside, Chenier and his eighty followers call out: "We are done! We are sold! Let us jump!" Chenier jumps from the steeple, is hit by the flying bullets, and perishes as he falls. His men cower back in the flaming steeple till it falls with a crash into the burning ruins. Amid the ash heap are afterwards found the corpses of seventy-two patriots. The troopers take one hundred prisoners in the region, then set ...
— Canada: the Empire of the North - Being the Romantic Story of the New Dominion's Growth from Colony to Kingdom • Agnes C. Laut

... melted away. She began to cower, and hid her blushing face in her hands. Then she looked up imploringly. Then she uttered a wild and eloquent cry, and fled from him ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... to the stars. And from out of the earth, out of the mist, but whence and how it is impossible to say, there come other angels dark of hue and foul smelling. But the white angels carry swords, and they wave these swords, and the scene is reflected in them as in a mirror; and the dark angels cower in a corner of the cemetery, but they do ...
— A Mere Accident • George Moore

... in his life Courtrey, the bully, felt a premonitory chill down his spine—because for the first time that promising glance of his failed of its effect! Only here and there along the rows of faces did one cower. There were faces, many faces, that looked back at him with steady eyes and tight lips.... Verily it was time he conquered the riding, shooting, beautiful she-devil who had made this thing possible! The sooner he got Tharon Last away from this bunch of spawn the better. ...
— Tharon of Lost Valley • Vingie E. Roe

... to build the new causeway that shall with the highroad connect us. But I am sorely afraid that will not be the way with our children. Some think only of pleasure and perishable apparel; Others will cower at home, and behind the stove will sit brooding. One of this kind, as I fear, we shall find to the last ...
— Hermann and Dorothea • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... to see her cower and shrink as men had often done under the glare of his angry gaze; but she stood before him tall, straight and calm—so near that he might have felled her to the ground; there was no fear in her deep eyes while she gave ...
— The Royal Pawn of Venice - A Romance of Cyprus • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... have Nicolette, my sweet lady that I love so well. For into Paradise go none but such folk as I shall tell thee now: Thither go these same old priests, and halt old men and maimed, who all day and night cower continually before the altars and in the crypts; and such folk as wear old amices and old clouted frocks, and naked folk and shoeless, and covered with sores, perishing of hunger and thirst and of cold, and of little ...
— A Study of Poetry • Bliss Perry

... through Leadenhall Street and Cornhill, by the Royal Exchange, along Cheapside and on to Temple Bar, where the bonfire awaited the puppets. In a torrent of fire the noisy Protestants passed through the exulting City, making the Papists cower and shudder in their garrets and cellars, and before the flaming deluge opened a storm of shouting people. This procession consisted of fifteen groups of priests, Jesuits, and friars, two following a man on a horse, holding up before him ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... upon the girl. She seemed to cower away from him, half lifting her hands as though in fear that he ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... questions in the negative, we must go a step farther, and ask if we have gained a state of independence of our own selfish passions, as well as of the world; for our most inveterate foes, and those before whom we cower most abjectly, are often those that dwell within the household of our own hearts. If the love of ease or of sensual indulgence rules there, we need to summon our moral courage to a stern strife, for there is no conquest ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler

... that fact,—and that the Lobosch Hill is not his, but another's. What would not Browne now give for the Lobosch Hill! Yesternight he might have had it gratis, in a manner; and indeed did try slightly, with his Pandour people (durst not at greater expense),—who have now ceased sputtering, and cower extinct in the lower vineyards there. Browne, at any rate, is rapidly strengthening his right wing, which has hold of Lobositz; pushing forward in that quarter,—where the Brook withal is of firmer bottom and more ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Seven-Years War: First Campaign—1756-1757. • Thomas Carlyle

... towns and castles; the latter plunders hundreds of thousands every year of the world, and then has the sublime audacity to come into court and plead that his business is both legitimate and necessary. And so rotten is society,—so prostrate does it cower before the golden calf— that the buccaneer, instead of being bastinadoed or beheaded, is crowned with bays! How can we harmonize these stubborn facts with Sir Edwin's view that "the course of mankind is constantly toward perfection?" Of course we should "look at the ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... keeping with the individual character, that Cleopatra, alike destitute of moral strength and physical courage, should cower terrified and subdued before the masculine spirit of her lover, when once she has fairly roused it. Thus Tasso's Armida, half siren, half sorceress, in the moment of strong feeling, forgets her incantations, and has recourse to persuasion, to ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... it be with this great nation, When woman tests her high vocation; Persuasion proves a futile power To quell the joints, but quick they cower At ...
— The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation • Carry A. Nation

... the occasion and how to sit, what to avoid and how to avoid it. As it is, we go in a state of nervous agitation, obsequiously costumed; our last vestige of self-assertion vanishes before the unwinking Cyclops eye of the instrument, and we cower at the mercy of the thing and its attendant. They make what they will of us, and the retoucher simply edits the review with an eye to the market. So history is falsified before our faces, and we prepare a lie for our grandchildren. We fail ...
— Select Conversations with an Uncle • H. G. Wells

... into the forest. The very earth trembled and seemed terrified at the dreadful conflict going on above. It seemed to the two friends as if the end of the world were come; and they could do nothing but cower among the branches of the tree and watch the storm in silence; while they felt, in a way they had never before experienced, how utterly helpless they were and unable to foresee or avert the many dangers by which they were surrounded, and ...
— Martin Rattler • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... pointed out that this conception has its roots deep in primitive human nature: The Birth of Humility, Oxford, 1910, p. 17. 'It would, perhaps, be fanciful to say that man tends to run away from the sacred as uncanny, to cower before it as secret, and to prostrate himself before it as tabu. On the other hand, it seems plain that to these three negative qualities of the sacred taken together there corresponds on the part of man a certain negative attitude ...
— Five Stages of Greek Religion • Gilbert Murray

... I had no idea you were such a demonia. The Moorish blood, I suppose. Your words make me almost as wicked as yourself. It isn't for that I'm afraid. I've as much confidence in my lover as you in yours. No fear that Senor Crozier will cower before Francisco de Lara. If he do, I shall take back my heart a second time, and ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... hide? The moor is flat and treeless, the forest two or three miles away in a straight line, and we can go neither straight nor fast. If we cower behind one of the smoking brimstone mounds we shall be stifled; if we jump into one of the boiling ...
— Mr. Fortescue • William Westall

... a single track, with turn-outs at established points, where the drivers of the sleighs waited to be sure that the stretch beyond was clear before going forward. In the country, the winter which held the village in such close siege was an occupation under which Nature seemed to cower helpless, and men made a desperate and ineffectual struggle. The houses, banked up with snow almost to the sills of the windows that looked out, blind with frost, upon the lifeless world, were dwarfed in the drifts, ...
— A Modern Instance • William Dean Howells

... one of the swift outriders selected precisely our direction! Straight as an arrow he came for us, at full gallop. I could see the toss of his horse's mane against the light from the opened door. There was no time to move. All we could do was to cower beneath our rock, muscles tense, and hope to be able to glide around the ...
— The Killer • Stewart Edward White

... slender, awkward grace. Her eyes were fixed on Maisie, thrown open, expecting pain; but she didn't shrink or cower. ...
— Anne Severn and the Fieldings • May Sinclair

... around. His snows descend And make the green Earth hoary. Chains of frost Straighten her breadth of waters. Dropping rains Refresh her summer thirst, or rending clouds Roll in wild deluge o'er her. Roaming beasts Cower in their dens affrighted, while she quakes Convuls'd with inward agony, or reels Dizzied with flashing fires. Again she smiles In her recovered beauty, at His will, Maker of all things. So, He rules the world, With wrath commingling mercy. Who may hope With finite mind to understand His ways, So ...
— Man of Uz, and Other Poems • Lydia Howard Sigourney

... boatswain's mate, Manliest of men in his own natural senses; But driven stark mad by the devil's drugged stuff, Storming all aboard from his run-ashore late, Challenging to battle, vouchsafing no pretenses, A reeling King Ogg, delirious in power, The quarter-deck carronades he seemed to make cower. "Put him in brig there!" said Lieutenant Marrot. "Put him in brig!" back he mocked like a parrot; "Try it, then!" swaying a fist like Thor's sledge, And making the pigmy constables hedge— Ship's corporals and the master-at-arms. "In brig there, I say!"—They dally ...
— John Marr and Other Poems • Herman Melville

... ladies eyed one another, silent, yet expressive, like a picture facing a statue; but soon the colour died out of Julia's face as well, and she began to cower with vague fears before that stately figure, so gentle and placid usually, but now so discomposed ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... kurrende still, perfectly quiet, cowered to silence. The fundamental idea in the O.N. word was probably that of "lying quiet." Cp. Shetland to cur, to sit down. Isaiah, LVIII, 5: "His head till cower like ...
— Scandinavian influence on Southern Lowland Scotch • George Tobias Flom

... dissipated women then and since. She did not realise that it was the system to which she had stubbornly committed herself, that drove the people of the fields to cut their crops green to be baked in the oven, because their hunger could not wait; or made them cower whole days in their beds, because misery seemed to gnaw them there with a duller fang. That she was unconscious of its effect, makes no difference in the real drift of her policy; makes no difference ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... for the street was encumbered not only with fugitives like themselves, but also with tangled telegraph-wires and all sorts of other impediments. Once they had to cower tremblingly under a tall building while a fire-engine thundered by, threatening to bring down upon them the shattered walls. As they resumed their slow and painful march Bodine met them, his glad, outspoken greeting to Mara filling her heart with new grief and dismay, while it allayed the jealousy ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... thee. And cower in the straw; The chickens[011] are submissive, And own thy will for law; Bullfinches and canary Thy bidding do obey; And e'en the tortoise in its shell Doth never ...
— The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll • Stuart Dodgson Collingwood

... again. Though she recognised dimly the compelling power of this religion, and that it was one which, if sincerely embraced, would make the smallest details of life momentous with eternal weight, yet she knew that her soul could never respond to it, and whether saved or damned that it could only cower in miserable despair under a Deity that was ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... Mortimer, with a determined manner, that made the old outlaw cower and cringe. Felix Mortimer possessed the stronger character of the two, and, now he was aroused, Gunwagner was subservient to ...
— The Boy Broker - Among the Kings of Wall Street • Frank A. Munsey



Words linked to "Cower" :   stoop, bend, bow, flex, crouch, coward



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