Definition of bribe in English:

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Pronunciation: /brʌɪb/


[with object]
Dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favour by a gift of money or other inducement: they attempted to bribe opponents into losing [with object and infinitive]: they had bribed an official to sell them a certificate
More example sentences
  • No matter how much money she bribed the men with, they didn't let her enter the library, or even order a book.
  • Did they tip the balance in their favour by bribing officials?
  • We can then use that money to pay for lawsuits, malpractice, and bribing politicians… I mean lobbying politicians.
buy off, pay off, suborn, give an inducement to, corrupt
informal grease someone's palm, give someone a backhander, give someone a sweetener, keep someone sweet, get at, fix, square
British informal nobble


A sum of money or other inducement offered or given to bribe someone: lawmakers were caught accepting bribes to bring in legalized gambling
More example sentences
  • They've gone as far as illegal activities - offering bribes on the floor of the House, holding votes open for three hours.
  • They will probably have to pay larger bribes and offer better terms to overcome their questionable past.
  • But as long as others are free to offer bribes, some will try to buy special licenses to bypass the monopoly.
inducement, ‘incentive’;
North American  payola
informal backhander, pay-off, kickback, sweetener, carrot
British informal bung, dropsy
North American informal plugola, schmear
Australian informal sling
rare douceur, drop



Pronunciation: /ˈbrʌɪbəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Nobody could be that big a set of corrupt, easily bribable morons.
  • If the attacker is in some country with bribable police, there's nothing you can do anyway.
  • She didn't know much about doctors, but judges were bribable, police was bribable, the whole world was bribable.


Pronunciation: /ˈbrʌɪbə/
Example sentences
  • I have been offered bribes in the past, which had hilarious consequences for the briber.
  • The briber would rather pay the money than have the information revealed.
  • Regardless of the briber's intentions, paying for turnout is illegal in federal elections.


Late Middle English: from Old French briber, brimber 'beg', of unknown origin. The original sense was 'rob, extort', hence (as a noun) 'theft, stolen goods', also 'money extorted or demanded for favours', later 'offer money as an inducement' (early 16th century).

Words that rhyme with bribe

ascribe, gybe, imbibe, jibe, proscribe, scribe, subscribe, transcribe, tribe, vibe

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bribe

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