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 They were intimidated by women with power (magic or socioeconomic); their fear turned to mania, which made them push women to the lower rungs of society, limiting women’s economic opportunities and contributions to civic discourse. Sofia Quaglia, Quartz, "Women are invoking the witch to find their power in a patriarchal society," 31 Oct. 2019 Confront- ing an audience night after night with just a mic and your wits would be intimidating for anyone. Katherine Ormerod, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Secrets of Daring Women," 24 Oct. 2019 Sosoli, who unlike some of Hardy’s previous foes, didn’t look intimidated, land occasional heavy hands, but was never able to untrack any sustained offense. Dave Doyle, MMA Junkie, "UFC on ESPN 6 results: Greg Hardy uses inhaler, then gets nod over Ben Sosoli," 18 Oct. 2019 Weezie Mackey has heard stories about how coworking spaces operated by big national chains can be male dominated, lack privacy and have a fraternity party feel that can be intimidating for users who want a more relaxed environment. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Houston coworking startup aims to offer 'grown-up' option," 16 Oct. 2019 But for the average person airbrush foundation is intimidating for good reason. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "I Tried The TEMPTU Airbrush Foundation Machine, This Is What I Learned," 2 Oct. 2019 By following China’s lead, there’s also unease that information and communications technologies could be used to intimidate and coerce critics of the state. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Chinese firms are driving the rise of AI surveillance across Africa," 18 Sep. 2019 Woolf was both in awe of and intimidated by her younger lover. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Hear Virginia Wolf & Vita Sackville West's Love Story In Their Own Words," 24 Aug. 2019 Down with the thought of buying online but intimidated by the choices? Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "The Most Beautiful Rugs in the World Are Now Actually Affordable," 28 Feb. 2019

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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Time Traveler for intimidate

Time Traveler

The first known use of intimidate was in 1646

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Statistics for intimidate

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Intimidate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intimidates. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for intimidate

intimidate

verb
How to pronounce intimidate (audio)

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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Comments on intimidate

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