bul·​ly·​ing | \ ˈbu̇-lē-iŋ How to pronounce bullying (audio) , ˈbə- \

Definition of bullying

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc. : the actions and behavior of a bully Her own childhood had been made miserable by bullying— Michael Holroyd … underestimates the plain meanness behind the pleasure people take in bullying.— George F. Will



Definition of bullying (Entry 2 of 2)

: prone to or characterized by overbearing mistreatment and domination of others … dominated the program but did so in a bullying manner that made him appear crabbier and more churlish than ever.— Tom Shales At his worst, he was just another loud, boorish, bullying … drunk …— Bartholomew Gill The bullying husband is … living out a way of being that he learned at home as a child.— Robert Karen

Examples of bullying in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The church also has adopted three schools to provide an avenue for children to talk about their problems and deal with bullying and other threats. Adrian Sainz, ajc, 19 Nov. 2021 Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes first reported the Blazers were investigating Olshey for allegedly creating a toxic, hostile work environment for employees that included intimidation and bullying. oregonlive, 18 Nov. 2021 Langenecker said there are many possible motivations for bullying. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Nov. 2021 Like the Ravens, the Chargers have sweated through a lot of close games, and their defense is ripe for bullying. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, 12 Nov. 2021 Mitchell Miller, who was cut by two teams last fall after an earlier conviction for bullying was reported, has landed with a new team. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2021 For them, in a virtual classroom, there's less room for bullying, harassment and toxic social situations. Aj Willingham, CNN, 16 Aug. 2021 The move came after an April 7 article in the Hollywood Reporter detailed accusations by former employees of physical intimidation and bullying. Washington Post, 10 June 2021 The mental and emotional struggles started at a young age, when Phelps first started school and immediately dealt with bullying. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, 8 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Through the Franki Moscato Foundation, the 19-year-old uses her voice at school assemblies to spread messages about anti-bullying and suicide prevention. Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Nov. 2021 Pringle asked a crowd at Minor Elementary, calling for schoolwide anti-bullying efforts that require the support of teachers and counselors and custodians. al, 28 Oct. 2021 Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has said that research on users’ well-being led to investments in anti-bullying measures on Instagram. New York Times, 25 Oct. 2021 GAC Family will work to expand Donovan’s previous anti-bullying work, which includes a nationwide campaign in partnership with the Ad Council. Selome Hailu, Variety, 19 Oct. 2021 Some of these communities advertise their anti-bullying policies. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Launched in November 2017, the Love Myself campaign sends a powerful anti-bullying message, promoting self-love among children and young people across the world. Rolling Stone, 6 Oct. 2021 Ezra, 7, had an extra dimension to his campaign, advocating for an anti-bullying platform called Shake the Hate. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 14 Oct. 2021 In the meantime, the Broward School Board should review its anti-bullying policy as to whether DeSantis, Corcoran and the Board of Ed have violated it. Steve Bousquet, sun-sentinel.com, 8 Oct. 2021

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


1742, in the meaning defined above


1746, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bullying was in 1742

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bullying.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bullying. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for bullying


bul·​ly·​ing | \ ˈbu̇-lē-iŋ, bə- \

Legal Definition of bullying

: acts or written or spoken words intended to intimidate or harass a person or to cause physical harm to a person or his or her property — see also cyberbullying

Note: The statutory language used to describe what constitutes bullying differs from state to state.

More from Merriam-Webster on bullying

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bullying

Nglish: Translation of bullying for Spanish Speakers


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