bribe

noun
\ 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

bribe

verb
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

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Other Words from bribe

Verb

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

Synonyms for bribe

Synonyms: Noun

backhander [British], boodle, cumshaw, fix, sop

Synonyms: Verb

buy, corrupt, have, pay off, square

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Singer’s bribes went not to Vandemoer himself, prosecutors acknowledged, but to Stanford’s sailing program. Matthew Ormseth, latimes.com, "College admissions scandal shows ‘sacrifice matters less than money,’ prosecutors say," 8 June 2019 Singer disguised bribe payments from clients as charitable contributions to the foundation. Mark Morales And Jason Hanna, CNN, "Feds investigating ex-USC athletic director's possible ties to college admissions scam mastermind, source says," 6 June 2019 BOSTON - Attorneys for some parents charged in the college admissions scandal offered a possible preview of their defense strategy Monday, arguing that what the government calls bribes were simply straightforward charitable donations. nola.com, "Payments to elite colleges were donations, not bribes, attorneys say," 4 June 2019 The Silver Shovel series of indictments in the 1990s ensnared six aldermen for pocketing bribes. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: A look at the winners — J.B. Pritzker among them — and losers in spring legislative session.," 3 June 2019 Business owners crave transparent rules and predictability but often face being extorted for bribes by corrupt officials, an intractable problem in Ukraine. Mstyslav Chernov, The Seattle Times, "Ukrainian workers, seeing little hope at home, head abroad," 25 Mar. 2019 Guselnikov says Rimsevics repeatedly asked for bribes in exchange for help with the financial regulator, which Rimsevics allegedly had influence over. Washington Post, "European Central Banker in Latvia denies charges of bribery," 29 June 2018 Nonetheless, they are harassed by both the rebels and the government forces, who shake them down for bribes by confiscating equipment and jailing workers. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Gender-bending ballet, ground-breaking theater, and Burmese brothers," 31 May 2018 The University of California-Los Angeles, where a soccer coach is accused of taking bribes to help two wealthy students get into school, became the first campus to receive over 100,000 freshman applications in 2016. Tyler Kingkade, Town & Country, "College Admissions Has a Fact-Checking Problem. Here's Why.," 24 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If a guy with money can’t bribe his doctor into giving him a handicapped-parking placard, buying a Telsa is the next best thing. Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, "Caldara: In Colorado you’re still paying for rich folks to buy a luxury second car," 7 June 2019 Cartel members drove him into Mexico City, where he was greeted by a motorcade of police officers who had been bribed to escort him safely into hiding. Katie Honan, WSJ, "U.S. Jury Convicts Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ After Three-Month Trial," 12 Feb. 2019 Shares of drugmaker Mallinckrodt Plc fell 16% Tuesday after news reports that the federal government is intervening in a pair of lawsuits that allege its subsidiary bribed doctors to drive sales of a pricey multiple-sclerosis drug. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Government to File Complaint After Mallinckrodt Unit Is Accused of Bribery to Drive Drug Sales," 30 Apr. 2019 The YouTuber and daughter of Full House actress Lori Loughlin has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to a scandal revolving around parents who allegedly bribed schools to accept their kids. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Olivia Jade? All About the YouTuber At the Center of the College Bribery Scandal," 13 Mar. 2019 He stood accused of accepting bribes from lawyers with business before him, and of failing to recuse himself from cases involving people who allegedly bribed him. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "It works just like impeaching a president.," 27 Sep. 2018 Famed short-seller Jim Chanos, who’s been shorting Tesla for years, recently spoke to CNBC about how Musk had attacked him on Twitter, claiming that Chanos had bribed a journalist for inside information on Musk’s company. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Elon Musk can’t stop tweeting, but so far it doesn’t matter," 19 July 2018 Local politicians often turn a blind eye to such activity, especially if bribed to do so. The Economist, "Colombia’s national survey of its biodiversity is ambitious," 17 May 2018 To pull it off, Loughlin and Giannulli reportedly paid $50,000 to bribe Donna Heinel, a senior associate athletic director at USC, and $200,000 to Singer's foundation. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Lori Loughlin and Her Husband Mossimo Giannulli Became Involved in the College Admissions Scandal," 13 Mar. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of bribe

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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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Dictionary Entries near bribe

briard

briarroot

briarwood

bribe

bribery

Bribri

bric-a-brac

Statistics for bribe

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bribe

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

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More Definitions for bribe

bribe

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bribe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something valuable (such as money) that is given in order to get someone to do something

bribe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bribe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try to get someone to do something by giving or promising something valuable (such as money) : to give or offer a bribe to (someone)

bribe

noun
\ 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

bribe

verb
bribed; bribing

Kids Definition of bribe (Entry 2 of 2)

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

bribe

noun

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
bribed; bribing

Legal Definition of bribe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to influence (a person) by giving a bribe

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More from Merriam-Webster on bribe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bribe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bribe

Spanish Central: Translation of bribe

Nglish: Translation of bribe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bribe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bribe

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