Definition of bully
- tormented by the neighborhood bully
The earliest meaning of English bully was “sweetheart.” The word was probably borrowed from Dutch boel, “lover.” Later bully was used for anyone who seemed a good fellow, then for a blustering daredevil. Today, a bully is usually one whose claims to strength and courage are based on the intimidation of those who are weaker.
First Known Use: 1538See Words from the same year
He bullied his younger brothers.
children who had been bullied by their father since infancy
that's a bully idea for reviving the town's retail center
A-OK, A1, awesome, bang-up, banner, beautiful, blue-chip, blue-ribbon, brave, bumper, capital, choice, classic, cool [slang], corking, crackerjack, dandy, divine, dynamite, excellent, fab, fabulous, famous, fantastic, fine, first-class, first-rate, first-string, five-star, four-star, frontline, gilt-edged (or gilt-edge), grand, great, groovy, heavenly, high-class, hot, immense, jim-dandy, lovely, marvelous (or marvellous), mean, neat, nifty, noble, par excellence, peachy, prime, prize, prizewinning, quality, sensational, splendid, stellar, sterling, superb, superior, superlative, supernal, swell, terrific, tip-top, top, top-notch, top-of-the-line, topflight, unsurpassed, wonderful;
out of this world, too much;
First Known Use: 1753See Words from the same year
—used in phrases like bully for you to express approval or praise especially when the approval or praise is not sincere
: to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person) : to act like a bully toward (someone)
: to cause (someone) to do something by making threats or insults or by using force
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