Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of intimidate are browbeat, bulldoze, bully, and cow. While all these words mean "to frighten into submission," intimidate implies inducing fear or a sense of inferiority into another.

intimidated by so many other bright freshmen

When is browbeat a more appropriate choice than intimidate?

The meanings of browbeat and intimidate largely overlap; however, browbeat implies a cowing through arrogant, scornful, or contemptuous treatment.

browbeat the witness into a contradiction

When would bulldoze be a good substitute for intimidate?

The words bulldoze and intimidate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, bulldoze implies an intimidating or an overcoming of resistance usually by urgings, demands, or threats.

bulldozed the city council into approving the plan

When is it sensible to use bully instead of intimidate?

The synonyms bully and intimidate are sometimes interchangeable, but bully implies intimidation through threats, insults, or aggressive behavior.

bullied into giving up their lunch money

Where would cow be a reasonable alternative to intimidate?

While in some cases nearly identical to intimidate, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near intimidate

Cite this Entry

“Intimidate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on intimidate

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!