Thesaurus

bully

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of bully

(Entry 1 of 3)

of the very best kind
  • that's a bully idea for reviving the town's retail center

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bully

noun

Synonyms of bully (Entry 2 of 3)

1 a person who teases, threatens, or hurts smaller, weaker, or more vulnerable persons
  • the school has a procedure for students who want to report problems with bullies

Synonyms for bully

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2 a violent, brutal person who is often a member of an organized gang
  • the local loan shark and his bullies have ways of making people pay up

Synonyms for bully

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bully

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of bully (Entry 3 of 3)

1 to inflict physical or emotional harm upon
  • the kindergarten teacher explained why it was wrong to bully classmates

Synonyms for bully

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2 to make timid or fearful by or as if by threats
  • the manager was fired for bullying employees

Synonyms for bully

Words Related to bully

Phrases Synonymous with bully

Near Antonyms for bully

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About bully

How is the word bully different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of bully are browbeat, bulldoze, cow, and intimidate. While all these words mean "to frighten into submission," bully implies intimidation through threats, insults, or aggressive behavior.

bullied into giving up their lunch money

When could browbeat be used to replace bully?

While the synonyms browbeat and bully are close in meaning, browbeat implies a cowing through arrogant, scornful, or contemptuous treatment.

browbeat the witness into a contradiction

In what contexts can bulldoze take the place of bully?

In some situations, the words bulldoze and bully are roughly equivalent. However, bulldoze implies an intimidating or an overcoming of resistance usually by urgings, demands, or threats.

bulldozed the city council into approving the plan

When might cow be a better fit than bully?

The synonyms cow and bully are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

When is it sensible to use intimidate instead of bully?

The words intimidate and bully can be used in similar contexts, but intimidate implies inducing fear or a sense of inferiority into another.

intimidated by so many other bright freshmen

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Learn More about bully

Time Traveler for bully

Time Traveler

The first known use of bully was in 1538

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Cite this Entry

“Bully.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/bully. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bully

Dictionary: Definition of bully

Nglish: Translation of bully for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bully for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bully

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