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

In 2004, Taricani was convicted of civil contempt for refusing to reveal the source of a secret FBI videotape that showed a Providence city official taking a $1,000 cash bribe. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Hundreds pay tribute to Rhode Island reporter Jim Taricani," 27 June 2019 But to the Palestinians this smells like a bribe from a hostile president. The Economist, "An underwhelming start to the “ultimate” Israeli-Palestinian deal," 27 June 2019 Worthen pleaded guilty in August 2017 to one count of conspiracy and one count of receiving a bribe and became a prosecution witness against Reid at his trial. Bay City News, The Mercury News, "Oakland councilman’s son sentenced to prison for bribery, bid-rigging schemes," 26 June 2019 Customers and agents occasionally collude to record lower readings for a bribe. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "Can smart meters re-energise India’s crumbling power distribution companies?," 18 June 2019 The decision to award the tournament to Qatar, which was made back in 2010, was quickly met with confusion and allegations of corruption, with many suggesting that FIFA officials had accepted a bribe to make their final decision. SI.com, "Michel Platini Arrested Over Awarding of 2022 World Cup to Qatar," 18 June 2019 On Wednesday, a judge kept asking prosecutors, how is that a bribe? Don Dahler, CBS News, "Ex-Stanford coach avoids 13 month prison sentence in college admissions scandal," 13 June 2019 While at the party, Kischnick obtained a $1,000 bribe from DiLisio, who, at the time, was wired by the FBI to record Kischnick's bribery demand, court records say. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Tension at Troy City Council meeting as fingers point at mayor," 12 June 2019 The pair pleaded guilty as charged to conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and soliciting a bribe. Robert Rhoden, nola.com, "Ex-Sheriff Jack Strain arrested; accused of rape and incest," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Richardson was accused of receiving $20,000 in bribes to lead current Wildcat players to a sports agent and used money to bribe recruits to play for Arizona. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Matt Scott, ex-Arizona QB: Sean Miller got away with paying players," 3 Jan. 2018 An investigation in India considered whether the officers on duty at the Safdarjung Airport had been bribed by the American, but the findings were inconclusive. Abeer Kapoor, Quartz India, "The fascinating story of an American smuggler’s daring escapades in 1960s India," 19 June 2019 One detail is that the suspects were bribed with 400,000 Dominican pesos. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Arrests Shed New Light on David Ortiz Shooting as Search for Answers Continues," 18 June 2019 Traffickers often bribe poorly paid Dominican officials to turn a blind eye to their smuggling operations, US officials say. Patrick Oppmann And Angela Barajas, CNN, "Authorities say they are closing in on the person who ordered the hit on David Ortiz," 16 June 2019 The city’s antigraft agency said Catherine Leung Kar-cheung, a former vice chairwoman of JPMorgan’s Asia-Pacific investment banking business, bribed the chairman of a logistics company by offering to employ his son at the bank. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "Former JPMorgan Banker Charged With Bribery in ‘Sons and Daughters’ Program," 16 May 2019 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

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

12 Jul 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

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