brow·​beat | \ ˈbrau̇-ˌbēt How to pronounce browbeat (audio) \
browbeat; browbeaten\ ˈbrau̇-​ˈbē-​tᵊn How to pronounce browbeaten (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 Unlike the press, the coronavirus cannot be browbeaten. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Women Leaders Are a Symptom of Success," 6 May 2020 Yet China, which never misses an opportunity to browbeat Japan over minuscule islands annexed in 1895, has no official claims on any of the immense territory ceded to Russia. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "On Russia-China Border, Selective Memory of Massacre Works for Both Sides," 26 Mar. 2020 Yet the left still catastrophizes these events in an attempt to browbeat unruly voters into submission. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "The Democrats Aren’t the Only Liberal Party in Collapse," 16 Jan. 2020 Besides pressure from financial markets, the Fed faces nonstop browbeating from President Trump to keep slashing interest rates. Los Angeles Times, "Fed is expected to cut interest rates again by quarter point," 18 Sep. 2019 This can be read as a statement: It will not be browbeaten into political correctness. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Nobel Prize in Literature Is Just Trolling Now," 10 Oct. 2019 Surely Pelosi wasn’t browbeaten into doing this by podcast bros and talking heads on America’s least popular major cable-news network? David Harsanyi, National Review, "Pelosi’s Impeachment Blunder," 9 Jan. 2020 Who is going to feel boastful after this matchup of the browbeaten? Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Jets and Giants Vie for Best New York Team Not Named the Bills," 8 Nov. 2019 In its earlier days, PopSockets tried to get Amazon’s attention about counterfeits sold there, only to be browbeat by the tech giant into spending more on marketing, according to Barnett. Washington Post, "PopSockets, Tile and other companies will ask Congress to help stop big tech bullying," 16 Jan. 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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Cite this Entry

“Browbeat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for browbeat


How to pronounce browbeat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of browbeat

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on browbeat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for browbeat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with browbeat

Spanish Central: Translation of browbeat

Nglish: Translation of browbeat for Spanish Speakers

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