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 To that end, a document need not be ironclad to intimidate potential plaintiffs. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Attorneys: U of L's 'binding' COVID-19 liability waivers for athletes may not be enforceable," 3 Aug. 2020 The family accuses the Juarez cartel of coordinating the attack as part of a decades-long effort to intimidate and coerce the local population and influence the Mexican government. Stephen Groves, Star Tribune, "Family of 9 slain Mexican-Americans sues Juarez drug cartel," 29 July 2020 Stone, 67, had been convicted of lying to congressional investigators, obstructing a congressional investigation, and attempting to intimidate a possible congressional witness. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Robert Mueller speaks: Roger Stone 'rightfully' still a convicted felon," 11 July 2020 There are lots of different kinds available, but don't let that intimidate you. Alison Allsopp, Country Living, "How to Clean an Essential Oil Diffuser," 29 May 2020 Confederate monuments were made to intimidate Black citizens. al, "Groups vow to continue fight to relocate Confederate statues, say Alabama law ‘immoral’," 13 July 2020 Esmaeilion, a spokesman for victims’ families in Canada, said Iranian officials have sought to intimidate family members, pressuring them to remove social media posts critical of the government. Amanda Coletta, BostonGlobe.com, "Misaligned radar responsible for downing of Ukrainian passenger jet, Iran says," 12 July 2020 While volunteering as democratic poll watchers in the suburbs of Chicago, Lucca and Jay come face to face with an alt-right group aiming to intimidate voters. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Good Fight season 4 premiere is free to watch online for Emmys season," 3 July 2020 Three days later, District Attorney Diana Becton charged each of them with violating Gomez’s civil rights — the hate crime — by knowingly defacing his property in an effort to intimidate and interfere with his freedom of expression. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Martinez residents rattled by racism revealed by destruction of Black Lives Matter mural," 12 July 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 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intimidate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intimidate. Accessed 12 Aug. 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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