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 That said, skin care can be intimidating — there are so many products out there. Audrey Noble, Allure, "The Best New Skin-Care Products Hitting Shelves in April," 1 Apr. 2020 But sharing your thoughts publicly can be intimidating! Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, "Twitter testing disappearing Tweets, dubbed 'Fleets'," 5 Mar. 2020 But that didn't intimidate them against Sahuaro's Brown and Alyssa Franke, one of the state's most talented tandems, and the Cougar's approximate 30-point margin of victory in games entering Monday's contest. Dana Scott, azcentral, "Last unbeaten girls hoops team falls, as Sahuaro loses in MLK Day Classic," 21 Jan. 2020 Most of their board members, while very, very smart people, were just intimidated by the financial end of things. Jon Kelvey, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Tom Welliver honored with Sylvia Canon Humanitarian Award," 12 Dec. 2019 Lam’s move did not quell the protests but seems, on the contrary, only to have spurred demonstrators to show they cannot be intimidated. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The latest violence in Hong Kong now has the UN’s attention," 5 Oct. 2019 President Obama also said the United States would not be intimidated by Islamic State militants after the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff. orlandosentinel.com, "Today in history: September 3," 3 Sep. 2019 Although increasing numbers of Bolivians identify as mestizo, the population remains heavily indigenous, and the community’s partisans are not easily intimidated. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "The Fall of Evo Morales," 16 Mar. 2020 The only reason to yell at the referees, Jankovich said, is in the hopes that they’ll be intimidated enough to make sure the future calls go in your favor. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "SMU coach Tim Jankovich said he wants to stop arguing with the refs altogether. Here’s why.," 14 Feb. 2020

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

8 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intimidate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intimidate. Accessed 10 Apr. 2020.

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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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