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 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 Chinese demands for respect are in part a ploy, a passive-aggressive bid to browbeat foreign critics into silence. The Economist, "Chaguan Communism is not what worries the world about China’s Communist Party," 18 Dec. 2019 Pretty much all of the world still runs on older generations—4G, 3G, and even 2G. Telecom companies can’t just ditch those consumers, or browbeat them into buying fancier smartphones. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "Nokia is having one of the worst days in its history, thanks to 5G," 24 Oct. 2019 And new reports suggested that the Justice Department is browbeating foreign spy agencies to help discredit the Americans who investigated Russian meddling in the 2016 race that put Trump in the Oval Office. Stephen Collinson Cnn, CNN, "All the revelations of the past 24 hours in Washington, DC," 5 Nov. 2019 If China can browbeat foreign firms so easily now, what will the status quo look like two or three decades from now, when the habits and demands of the Chinese middle-class consumer will have an even greater impact on the global economy? Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "China’s war with the NBA and the frailty of the liberal order," 9 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for browbeat

Last Updated

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Browbeat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 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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