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

Most recently, the climbing community is dealing with the aftermath of pro climber Joe Kinder’s admitted bullying of fellow pro Sasha DiGiulian on Instagram. Blane Bachelor, Outside Online, "Road Biking While Female," 23 May 2018 That attack followed reports of bullying of Jewish children in schools and prompted the head of the Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, to advise Jews not to wear kippas in big cities. Madeline Chambers, The Christian Science Monitor, "Thousands of Germans join 'kippa marches' in support of the Jewish community," 25 Apr. 2018 News and Politics Drug abuse, teen pregnancy, suicide, bullying — 19-year-old Alexis Davis looked around her home on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota and felt her community deserved more. Teen Vogue, "The Turtle Mountain Youth Council is Helping Chippewa Teens Find Their Voices," 11 Mar. 2019 Redbook and TLC Network are teaming up to honor heroes fighting bullying in their communities. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 2018 Lopez said plans are in the works to step up training for bus drivers and lunchroom staff to deal with issues such as bullying. Heather Cherone, chicagotribune.com, "Eight percent of District 64 8th-grade students reported using tobacco or vaping, survey finds," 2 July 2018 On top of all that … there’s the bullying and body shaming that can occur on social media. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Michelle Obama on Facing Criticism, Life After the White House, and Advice for Meghan Markle," 3 Dec. 2018 Discussion of difficult topics, including the war in Vietnam, death (told by way of his unfortunate goldfish, buried on-camera), divorce, bullying and more. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Mr. Rogers gets moving documentary in 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?'," 7 June 2018 In other words, the bullying and deception at the heart of this industry would end if the market were structured to benefit ticket buyers, not giant companies. David Dayen, The New Republic, "The Ticket Monopoly Is Worse Than Ever (Thanks, Obama)," 15 May 2018

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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Learn More about bullying

Dictionary Entries near bullying







bully pulpit

Statistics for bullying

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bullying

The first known use of bullying was in 1742

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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

Nglish: Translation of bullying for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bullying

What made you want to look up bullying? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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