intimidate

verb
in·​tim·​i·​date | \ in-ˈti-mə-ˌdāt How to pronounce intimidate (audio) \
intimidated; intimidating

Definition of intimidate

transitive verb

: to make timid or fearful : frighten especially : to compel or deter by or as if by threats tried to intimidate a witness

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Other Words from intimidate

intimidation \ in-​ˌti-​mə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce intimidation (audio) \ noun
intimidator \ in-​ˈti-​mə-​ˌdā-​tər How to pronounce intimidator (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for intimidate

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 intimidate in a Sentence

He tries to intimidate his opponents. You shouldn't allow his reputation to intimidate you.

Recent Examples on the Web

Sufentanil is an opioid painkiller five to seven times more potent than fentanyl—another powerful opioid—at the time of peak effect and 4,521 times more powerful than morphine, but Alison wasn’t intimidated. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "I Was One Of The Top Doctors In My Field. I Was Also An Opioid Addict.," 25 Feb. 2019 His investigators and lawyers worked to discredit or intimidate the women and girls who came forward, and the authorities working on the case, according to the Herald. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 The men and women in fluorescent safety vests blocking traffic and intimidating shoppers on the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue vent a range of grievances against the government. Lori Hinnant, The Seattle Times, "French yellow vest movement dogged by intolerance, extremism," 29 Jan. 2019 The report found that there was an overall decrease in acts of vandalism against clinics but a significant increase in activities aimed at disrupting services and intimidating patients and providers. CBS News, "U.S. abortion clinics face surge of "emboldened" protesters, survey shows," 7 May 2018 Man pleaded guilty to the crime of intimidating, interfering with, or retaliating against a federal official by threatening to murder a family member. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Man who threatened to kill Ajit Pai’s children pleads guilty, faces prison," 4 Sep. 2018 Incels can be vicious, and dealing with them head-on can be intimidating. Ellen Pao, WIRED, "The Perverse Incentives That Help Incels Thrive in Tech," 19 June 2018 After all, 109 million followers can be intimidating. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Deletes Pictures of Stormi and Says She Won't Share New Photos Of Her Daughter," 11 June 2018 But at Big Chicks—and only at Big Chicks—a bear could not intimidate me. David Tamarkin, Bon Appetit, "“I Think We Have a Gay Bar”," 6 June 2018

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

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intimidate

Medieval Latin intimidatus, past participle of intimidare, from Latin in- + timidus timid

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Statistics for intimidate

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intimidate

The first known use of intimidate was in 1646

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More Definitions for intimidate

intimidate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of intimidate

: to make (someone) afraid

intimidate

verb
in·​tim·​i·​date | \ in-ˈti-mə-ˌdāt How to pronounce intimidate (audio) \
intimidated; intimidating

Kids Definition of intimidate

: to frighten especially by threats

intimidate

transitive verb
in·​tim·​i·​date | \ in-ˈti-mə-ˌdāt How to pronounce intimidate (audio) \
intimidated; intimidating

Legal Definition of intimidate

1 : to make timid or fearful especially : to compel or deter by or as if by threats — see also coercion
2 : to engage in the crime of intimidating (as a witness, juror, public officer in the performance of his or her duty, or victim of a robbery or other crime)

Other Words from intimidate

intimidatingly adverb
intimidation \ in-​ˌti-​mə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce intimidation (audio) \ noun
intimidator \ in-​ˈti-​mə-​ˌdā-​tər How to pronounce intimidator (audio) \ noun

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