noun (plural bullies)
- A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.More 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.
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 themMore example sentences
persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate, strong-arm, dominatecoerce, pressure, pressurize, press, push; force, compel; badger, goad, prod, browbeat, intimidate, dragoon, strong-arm
- 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.
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.
adjective• informal , chiefly North American
- Very good; first-rate: the statue really looked bullyMore 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 himMore 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.
late 16th century (originally of a person meaning 'admirable, gallant, jolly'): from bully1. The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.
- Corned beef.More 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.
mid 18th century: from French bouilli, literally 'boiled'.
Entry from British & World English dictionary
noun (plural bullies)
verb (bullies, bullying, bullied)[no object] Back to top
late 19th century (originally denoting a scrum in Eton football): of unknown origin.