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COWARDICE. Pusillanimity; fear.
     2. By the act for the better government of the navy of the United States, passed April 21, 1800, 1 Story, L. U. S. 761; it is enacted, art. 5, "every officer or private who shall not properly observe the orders of his commanding officer, or shall not use his utmost exertions to carry them into execution, when ordered to prepare for, join in, or when actually engaged in battle; or shall, at such time, basely desert his duty or station, either then, or while in sight of an enemy, or shall induce others to do so, every person so offending, shall, on conviction thereof by a general court martial, suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
     3.-Art. 6. "Every officer or private who shall, through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, in the time of action, withdraw from, or keep out of battle, or shall not do his utmost to take or destroy every vessel which it is his duty to encounter, or shall not do his utmost endeavor to afford relief to ships belonging to the United States, every such offender shall, on conviction thereof by a general court martial, suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge."
     4. By the act for establishing rules and articles for the government of the armies of the United States, passed April 10, 1806, it is enacted, art. 52, "any officer or soldier, who shall misbehave himself before the enemy, run away, or shamefully abandon any fort, post, or guard, which he or they may be commanded to defend, or speak, words inducing others to do the like, or shall cast away his arms and ammunition, or who shall quit his post or colors to plunder and pillage, every such offender, being duly convicted thereof, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a general court martial."

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said he was busy supporting the people of Kashmir when the government targeted Faryal Talpur which was another example of its cowardice.
Or even our own cowardice? How do we find courage in dealing with the truth even if it means revealing a dreadful secret?
"Today's shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today's hateful act.
"I think all this was avoidable were it not for the political weakness and yes, these are strong words, the cowardice of the Chancellor of the Exchequer," he said.
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In a tweet on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed the attack as a 'despicable act of cowardice.'
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Haroon Bilour has said that Bilour family had always shown bravery against terrorism and her father-in-law, Bashir Ahmad Bilour was martyred in the cowardice act of terrorists while her husband had also become a victim of terrorism.
Their fixed-mind definition of cowardice does not consider different shades of spinelessness.
Expressing the strong resolve against terrorism, the president said that it could not be weaken by cowardice terrorist acts.
He said that the enemy with cowardice activities cannot shatter our pledge.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal says India has shown cowardice by attacking the innocent civilians living along the Working Boundary.