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Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near bully

Cite this Entry

“Bully.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/bully. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

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