noun (plural bullies)
- A person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker: he is a ranting, domineering bullyMore 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 them to do something: a local man was bullied into helping themMore example sentences
persecute, oppress, tyrannize, torment, browbeat, intimidate, cow, coerce, strong-arm, subjugate, domineer• informal push around/about, play the heavy withcoerce, pressure, pressurize, bring pressure to bear on, use pressure on, put pressure on, constrain, lean on, press, push; force, compel, oblige, put under an obligation; hound, harass, nag, harry, badger, goad, prod, pester, browbeat, brainwash, bludgeon, persuade, prevail on, work on, act on, influence, intimidate, dragoon, twist someone's arm, strong-arm; North American blackjackBritish • informal bounce
- 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'. Original use was as a term of endearment applied to either sex; it later became 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; excellent: 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.
bully for you! (or him etc.)
- often • ironic Used to express 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.
late 16th century (originally used of a person, meaning 'admirable, gallant, jolly'): from bully1. The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.
noun[mass noun] • informal
- 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: alteration of bouilli.
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.More example sentences
- Use the bully to put the ball into play when play has been stopped for injury.
- If there is a stop in action, the re-start is called a Bully.
- The ball is put in play in midfield in a face-off, known as a bully.
verb (bullies, bullying, bullied)[no object] Back to top
- (also bully off) (In field hockey) start play with a bully.More example sentences
- To bully, both players simultaneously strike first the ground then each other's stick over the ball.
- Every player shall be between the ball and his own goal line, except the two players who are bullying, who shall stand facing the side lines.
- Just like bullying off in hockey this game should be fast and furious, but the puck and sticks stay low and fingers are best kept out of the way!
late 19th century (originally denoting a scrum in Eton football): of unknown origin.