intimidate

verb
in·​tim·​i·​date | \ in-ˈti-mə-ˌdāt \
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 \ noun
intimidator \ in-​ˈti-​mə-​ˌdā-​tər \ 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

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 Gymnastics | West Hills A freshman, Ryan wasn’t intimidated by the section championship crowd or the competition. Union-tribune, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Prep Athletes of the Month," 31 May 2018 Ades faces charges of threatening and intimidating, stalking, and harassment. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Woman accused of stalking, threatening Paradise Valley man," 9 May 2018 He shouldn’t be intimidated by the NBA, having played at the highest level of international basketball. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "NBA draft: Luka Doncic leads group of swing-player prospects," 20 June 2018 Jobs and the advertisements positioned the iMac as a friendlier alternative to a sea of boring yet intimidating (and oh-so-beige) PCs. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "20 years of the iMac at Ars Technica, in reviews and pictures," 17 Aug. 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 Feb 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 \
intimidated; intimidating

Kids Definition of intimidate

: to frighten especially by threats

intimidate

transitive verb
in·​tim·​i·​date | \ in-ˈti-mə-ˌdāt \
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 \ noun
intimidator \ in-​ˈti-​mə-​ˌdā-​tər \ noun

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Comments on intimidate

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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