There are 4 main definitions of bully in English:

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bully1

Syllabification: bul·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈbo͝olē
 
/

noun (plural bullies)

A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
Example sentences
  • If we can all come together to make our parks safe, and we can all support zero tolerance in schools so that our children can enjoy a good education free from fear, intimidation and bullies, then we can surely do the same for our roads.
  • Many coaches are professional bullies and intimidators.
  • They have to worry about a lot more than bullies and bad influences outside the home.
Synonyms
persecutor, oppressor, tyrant, tormentor, intimidator;
tough guy, thug, ruffian, strong-arm;

verb (bullies, bullying, bullied)

[with object] Back to top  
Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants: a local man was bullied into helping them
More example sentences
  • Once, he was bullied into crawling between the legs of one of them in public.
  • A pregnant mother was spared a prison sentence after she was bullied into drug offences by her estranged partner.
  • I feel that I was bullied into agreeing to take it and I don't think it's the right thing for me.
Synonyms
persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate, strong-arm, dominate
coerce, pressure, pressurize, press, push;
badger, goad, prod, browbeat, intimidate, dragoon, strong-arm

Origin

mid 16th century: probably from Middle Dutch boele 'lover'. The original usage was as a term of endearment applied to either sex; later becoming a familiar form of address to a male friend. The current sense dates from the late 17th century.

More
  • People originally liked bullies. When it came into the English language in the 16th century, probably from an old Dutch word boele ‘lover’, bully was a term of endearment, much like ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’. At the end of the 17th century it was being used to mean ‘admirable or jolly’, and finally the more general sense of ‘first-rate’ developed. Today this survives only in the expression bully for you!, ‘well done! good for you!’ The usual modern sense dates from the late 17th century, probably from its use as an informal way of addressing a male friend, or referring to a ‘lad’ or ‘one of the boys’. The bully of bully beef is a mid 18th-century alteration of French bouilli ‘boiled’.

Words that rhyme with bully

ampullae, bullae, fully, Lully, pulley, Woolley, woolly

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There are 4 main definitions of bully in English:

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bully2

Syllabification: bul·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈbo͝olē
 
/
informal

adjective

informal , chiefly North American
Very good; first-rate: the statue really looked bully
More example sentences
  • It's a bully conclusion to a riveting journey through time.
  • That is why this franchise is the closest yet to possibly, maybe, being that bully team the NFL has lacked since the Cowboys faded almost a decade ago.

exclamation

(bully for) Back to top  
An expression of admiration or approval: he got away—bully for him
More example sentences
  • Yummy, bully for you!
  • And I say bully for him.
  • Bully for her, and bully for you if you have a similar situation.

Origin

late 16th century (originally of a person meaning 'admirable, gallant, jolly'): from bully1. The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.

More
  • People originally liked bullies. When it came into the English language in the 16th century, probably from an old Dutch word boele ‘lover’, bully was a term of endearment, much like ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’. At the end of the 17th century it was being used to mean ‘admirable or jolly’, and finally the more general sense of ‘first-rate’ developed. Today this survives only in the expression bully for you!, ‘well done! good for you!’ The usual modern sense dates from the late 17th century, probably from its use as an informal way of addressing a male friend, or referring to a ‘lad’ or ‘one of the boys’. The bully of bully beef is a mid 18th-century alteration of French bouilli ‘boiled’.

Definition of bully in:

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There are 4 main definitions of bully in English:

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bully3

Syllabification: bul·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈbo͝olē
 
/
(also bully beef) informal

noun

Corned beef.
Example sentences
  • She opened the back door only to see thrown down on the lawn an empty can of her bully beef and, to make matters worse, an empty tin of her cat's food!
  • We had bacon too, bully beef, endless tea, and biscuits which were very hard.
  • They climb over each other, snatching spaghetti, Irish stew and bully beef from the air and each other.

Origin

mid 18th century: from French bouilli, literally 'boiled'.

More
  • People originally liked bullies. When it came into the English language in the 16th century, probably from an old Dutch word boele ‘lover’, bully was a term of endearment, much like ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’. At the end of the 17th century it was being used to mean ‘admirable or jolly’, and finally the more general sense of ‘first-rate’ developed. Today this survives only in the expression bully for you!, ‘well done! good for you!’ The usual modern sense dates from the late 17th century, probably from its use as an informal way of addressing a male friend, or referring to a ‘lad’ or ‘one of the boys’. The bully of bully beef is a mid 18th-century alteration of French bouilli ‘boiled’.

Definition of bully in:

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There are 4 main definitions of bully in English:

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bully4

Line breaks: bully

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun (plural bullies)

(also bully off) An act of starting play in field hockey, in which two opponents strike each other’s sticks three times and then go for the ball.

verb (bullies, bullying, bullied)

[no object] Back to top  
(also bully off) (In field hockey) start play with a bully.

Origin

late 19th century (originally denoting a scrum in Eton football): of unknown origin.

More
  • People originally liked bullies. When it came into the English language in the 16th century, probably from an old Dutch word boele ‘lover’, bully was a term of endearment, much like ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’. At the end of the 17th century it was being used to mean ‘admirable or jolly’, and finally the more general sense of ‘first-rate’ developed. Today this survives only in the expression bully for you!, ‘well done! good for you!’ The usual modern sense dates from the late 17th century, probably from its use as an informal way of addressing a male friend, or referring to a ‘lad’ or ‘one of the boys’. The bully of bully beef is a mid 18th-century alteration of French bouilli ‘boiled’.

Definition of bully in:

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