Word of the Day : May 20, 2010

bully pulpit

noun BULL-ee-PULL-pit


: a prominent public position (as a political office) that provides an opportunity for expounding one's views; also : such an opportunity


Mariah has used her position on the city council as a bully pulpit to denounce the corruption in the mayor’s office.

Did You Know?

"Bully pulpit" comes from the 26th U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt, who observed that the White House was a bully pulpit. For Roosevelt, "bully" was an adjective meaning "excellent" or "first-rate" -- not the noun "bully" ("a blustering browbeating person") that's so common today. Roosevelt understood the modern presidency's power of persuasion and recognized that it gave the incumbent the opportunity to exhort, instruct, or inspire. He took full advantage of his bully pulpit, speaking out about the danger of monopolies, the nation's growing role as a world power, and other issues important to him. Since the 1970s, "bully pulpit" has been used as a term for an office -- especially a political office -- that provides one with the opportunity to share one's views.


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