Lacking courage; cowardly.
[Middle English pusillanimus, from Late Latin pusillanimis : Latin pusillus, weak, diminutive of pullus, young of an animal; see pau-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + animus, reason, mind; see anə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendicies
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.