1 of 2


: money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust
police officers accused of taking bribes
: something that serves to induce or influence
offered the kid a bribe to finish his homework


2 of 2


bribed; bribing

transitive verb

: to influence the judgment or conduct of (someone) with or as if with offers of money or favor : to induce or influence by or as if by bribery
attempting to bribe a judge
bribing a child with candy

intransitive verb

: to practice bribery
bribable adjective
bribee noun
briber noun

Examples of bribe in a Sentence

Noun I offered the children a bribe for finishing their homework. that judge refused a huge bribe to dismiss the charges against the wealthy defendant Verb She was arrested for attempting to bribe a judge. They bribed him to keep quiet about the incident. We bribed the children with candy.
Recent Examples on the Web
The contract custodians are also charged with bribery and conspiracy to bribe a public employee while the former MVA employee is charged with accepting bribes and misconduct in office, according to court records in Baltimore City Circuit Court. Dillon Mullan, Baltimore Sun, 3 July 2024 Under Monday’s decision, a former president could be prosecuted for accepting a bribe, but prosecutors could not mention the official act, the appointment, in their case. Mark Sherman, Twin Cities, 1 July 2024
Part of Menendez's defense strategy has been to pin the blame on his wife, claiming the senator was unaware of his wife's financial challenges and her dealings with the businessmen accused of bribing them. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, 3 July 2024 Recommended The Monitor's View Ballots for kinder politics Mr. Hajjar recounts seeing armed men guarding an ATM and allowing access only to those who bribed them. Ghada Abdulfattah, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for bribe 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bribe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English, morsel given to a beggar, bribe, from Anglo-French, morsel

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1528, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of bribe was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near bribe

Cite this Entry

“Bribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: something given or promised to a person in order to influence a decision or action dishonestly


2 of 2 verb
bribed; bribing
: to influence or try to influence by a bribe
bribable adjective
briber noun

Legal Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a benefit (as money) given, promised, or offered in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust (as an official or witness) compare kickback


2 of 2 transitive verb
bribed; bribing
: to influence (a person) by giving a bribe

More from Merriam-Webster on bribe

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!