- not brave.
- used to refer to a person who is easily scared or cowardly. It is an indirect insult and doesn’t reflect one’s positive attributes.
- easily frightened.
Examples in a Sentence
- Daisy was too chicken-hearted in the meeting to speak up, even though she knew the board was making the wrong decision.
- I don’t want to be associated with Bella. She’s a chicken-hearted person anyway.
- Be thankful that many people don’t know you like I do. You would not appreciate them finding out that you are chicken-hearted, would you?
- Although Chris has always wanted to be a journalist, he kept posting it since he was too chicken-hearted to believe that he would succeed.
- These chicken-hearted soldiers seem to surrender at the first sign of a strike.
- Although “chicken-hearted” is mostly used as an insult, it can also be used in a friendly way when teasing someone.
The idiom is derived from the deep meaning of “chicken,” which means a cowardly person.
The saying was famous in the late 17th century. But there isn’t much information on when it was first used in print. It has the same meaning as “faint-hearted” or “faint of heart,” meaning someone who is generally weak or afraid.
Chicken has an idiomatic meaning in English that describes a person who is scared or reluctant to do something because they are fearful. Many English expressions use the word “chicken”, like chicken out of something or someone.
As an idiomatic noun, chicken was first used in Kempe’s Nine Days’ Wonder, a Shakespeare play released in 1600. This word was first used in the early 20th century as a verb form.