bull·​doze ˈbu̇l-ˌdōz How to pronounce bulldoze (audio)
 also  ˈbəl-
bulldozed; bulldozing; bulldozes

transitive verb

: to coerce or restrain by threats : bully
: to move, clear, gouge out, or level off by pushing with or as if with a bulldozer
: to force insensitively or ruthlessly

intransitive verb

: to operate a bulldozer
: to force one's way like a bulldozer
Choose the Right Synonym for bulldoze

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 bulldoze in a Sentence

The crew is bulldozing the trees. They bulldozed a road through the hills. The governor bulldozed the law through the legislature.
Recent Examples on the Web In numerous instances, owners have floated proposals to convert their office buildings into housing or to bulldoze the office structures to clear the way for new housing. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 20 Feb. 2024 It was meant to be short-lived, a two-year revival (the building was going to be bulldozed in 2021) of the iconic restaurant that first opened in 1962 and was frequented by Rat Pack–era stars. Jason Sheeler, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Feb. 2024 The town would then be free to bulldoze all his unlawful structures. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, 20 Dec. 2023 Entire neighborhoods were bulldozed as West Oakland was surrounded by highways. Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Now, satellite images show a land that’s mostly brown – bombed out and bulldozed over. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 The existing building would be retained and not bulldozed, according to public documents on file with San Jose city planners. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024 Some 3,000 homes and shops were bulldozed to widen four major corridors and create an eight-mile-long arterial path to the temple, which is surrounded by arched sandstone gates and 162 murals depicting Ram’s life. TIME, 24 Jan. 2024 But quite unlike the elegant redesigns Utah and Mississippi produced, Minnesota’s new banner is reflective more of the faddish intellectual temptation to bulldoze the past and replace it with the new and, at times, entirely imaginary. Nr Editors, National Review, 22 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bulldoze.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from bull entry 1 + alteration of dose

First Known Use

1876, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bulldoze was in 1876

Dictionary Entries Near bulldoze

Cite this Entry

“Bulldoze.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bulldoze. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


bull·​doze ˈbu̇l-ˌdōz How to pronounce bulldoze (audio)
bulldozed; bulldozing
: to move, clear, or level with a bulldozer
: to force as if by using a bulldozer
bulldozed their way through the crowd

More from Merriam-Webster on bulldoze

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