\ ˈbrīb How to pronounce bribe (audio) \

Definition of bribe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : 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
2 : something that serves to induce or influence offered the kid a bribe to finish his homework


bribed; bribing

Definition of bribe (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from bribe


bribable \ ˈbrī-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce bribe (audio) \ adjective
bribee \ ˌbrī-​ˈbē How to pronounce bribe (audio) \ noun
briber noun

Synonyms for bribe

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The nuclear bailout was repealed last year after federal authorities charged ex-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and five others with using $60 million in FirstEnergy bribe money to secure the passage of the HB6. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 14 Mar. 2022 The lawyer for Johnson argued that no bribe was necessary because the councilman supported Universal’s mission for years before Chavous was hired. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 30 Mar. 2022 The Trench being put into turnaround), a bribe or a nice birthday present may be in order next month. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 The little girl holding the pretzel was a daughter, Mary, who was given it as a bribe, family members said. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, 12 Mar. 2022 This is Prince's way of circumventing Drache's bribe, his way of trying to change the culture of business which is often driven by corruption. Kyle Fowle,, 7 Mar. 2022 Amy and Henry cover up an accidental bribe after an incident with one of Luke’s teachers; Sarah decides to say yes to new things. Anying Guo, Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2022 However, lawmakers repealed that bailout last year after former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and several allies were charged in 2020 with using $60 million in FirstEnergy bribe money to secure the bill’s passage. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 8 Feb. 2022 The Chicago Democrat allegedly was caught on a wire offering a bribe to then-Sen. Jason Meisner,, 5 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Others make doctor’s appointments to obtain medical permits to enter Jerusalem, or bribe soldiers or Jewish settlers to get them through checkpoints, according to people who have used these methods. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2022 The ever-increasing cost of such cards has prompted many parents to have two savings funds: one to pay for college and another to bribe the enlistment office. Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2022 Prosecutors allege that at Sun’s direction, Liu paid a private investigator in Queens to bribe an IRS employee to obtain the artist’s tax returns. Richard Wintonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 18 Mar. 2022 The defense will also likely introduce to jurors Mitchell’s apparent work starting in 2006 as an FBI informant tasked with finding public officials to bribe. Leon Stafford, ajc, 16 Mar. 2022 So state and local officials in Mexico tried to bribe journalists over the years, or threatened them to stop a story’s publication, Carrasco said. Palabra, al, 28 Feb. 2022 An owner is alleged to have tried to bribe his head coach to lose games. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 4 Feb. 2022 The neighborhood association sends a mealy-mouthed representative (Chase Stoeger) to bribe them out of moving there. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Apr. 2022 Instead, the fishermen said, outsiders tried to bribe them, and others threatened them. Palabra, oregonlive, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bribe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bribe


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1528, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for bribe

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for bribe

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near bribe




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Statistics for bribe

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bribe


\ ˈbrīb How to pronounce bribe (audio) \

Kids Definition of bribe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something given or promised to a person in order to influence dishonestly a decision or action


bribed; bribing

Kids Definition of bribe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to influence or try to influence dishonestly by giving or promising something



Legal Definition of bribe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


transitive verb
bribed; bribing

Legal Definition of bribe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to influence (a person) by giving a bribe

More from Merriam-Webster on bribe

Nglish: Translation of bribe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bribe for Arabic Speakers


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