brow·​beat | \ ˈbrau̇-ˌbēt How to pronounce browbeat (audio) \
browbeat; browbeaten\ ˈbrau̇-​ˈbē-​tᵊn How to pronounce browbeat (audio) \ or browbeat; browbeating

Definition of browbeat

transitive verb

: to intimidate or disconcert by a stern manner or arrogant speech : bully likes to browbeat the waitstaff

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Choose the Right Synonym for browbeat

intimidate, cow, bulldoze, bully, browbeat mean to frighten into submission. intimidate implies inducing fear or a sense of inferiority into another. intimidated by so many other bright freshmen cow implies reduction to a state where the spirit is broken or all courage is lost. not at all cowed by the odds against making it in show business bulldoze implies an intimidating or an overcoming of resistance usually by urgings, demands, or threats. bulldozed the city council into approving the plan bully implies intimidation through threats, insults, or aggressive behavior. bullied into giving up their lunch money browbeat implies a cowing through arrogant, scornful, or contemptuous treatment. browbeat the witness into a contradiction

Examples of browbeat in a Sentence

His father likes to browbeat waiters and waitresses. they would often browbeat the younger child until he cried
Recent Examples on the Web And there were people like Malcolm who browbeat kids into adopting extremist beliefs. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 10 June 2021 The left, in this light, is not simply advocating equality of people regardless of their backgrounds; it’s a cabal seeking to marginalize and browbeat white people for having created a bigoted society that does not actually exist. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, 29 May 2021 Instead, Chinese internet companies are using the threat of government action to browbeat their rivals, my colleague Li Yuan wrote in her latest column. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2021 Congress routinely imposes conditions on states that receive federal funds, but whatever the extent of Congress’s power to browbeat or cajole states, the tax mandate falls well short of the clarity that federal courts require. Robert Alt, WSJ, 7 May 2021 But rather than trying to browbeat Manchin into submission, Biden appears, according to The New York Times, to be making a go of crafting infrastructure legislation that 10 Republicans could support. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 12 Apr. 2021 Yet, the president of the United States is still calling the Republican secretary of state of Georgia to try to browbeat him into awarding him victory in the state based on misinformation and conspiracy theories. The Editors, National Review, 3 Jan. 2021 The team from Beijing rushed together guides on treating patients and helped browbeat local officials into shuttering the market. New York Times, 1 Jan. 2021 Republicans are preparing once again to make the deficit a major issue, to pin all the blame for it on the Biden administration—and to browbeat Democrats into putting aside their agenda and embrace deficit reduction. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, 26 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'browbeat.' 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 browbeat

1581, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for browbeat

Time Traveler

The first known use of browbeat was in 1581

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Browbeat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of browbeat

: to use threats or angry speech to make (someone) do or accept something

More from Merriam-Webster on browbeat

Nglish: Translation of browbeat for Spanish Speakers


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