craven (adj.)

c. 1200, cravant "defeated, vanquished, overcome, conquered," apparently adapted from Old French cravent "defeated, beaten," past participle of cravanter "to strike down, to fall down," from Latin crepare "to crack, creak" (see raven). The sense, apparently affected by crave, shifted from "defeated" to "cowardly" (c. 1400) perhaps via intermediary sense of "confess oneself defeated." As a noun, "an acknowledged coward," 1580s. Related: Cravenly; cravenness.

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Definitions of craven from WordNet
craven (n.)
an abject coward;
Synonyms: poltroon / recreant
craven (adj.)
lacking even the rudiments of courage; abjectly fearful; "this recreant knight"- Spenser;
the craven fellow turned and ran
a craven proposal to raise the white flag
Synonyms: recreant