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[brou-beet] /ˈbraʊˌbit/
verb (used with object), browbeat, browbeaten, browbeating.
to intimidate by overbearing looks or words; bully:
They browbeat him into agreeing.
Origin of browbeat
First recorded in 1575-85; brow + beat
Related forms
browbeater, noun
cow, badger, tyrannize, harass, coerce. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for browbeat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Can he courteously talk to an equal, and browbeat an impudent dunce?

    Farm Ballads Will Carleton
  • Still, he said, it was a mistake for a man to allow events to browbeat him.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • I have to browbeat, bribe, blackmail and bulldoze you thugs into doing a simple job.

    The Repairman Harry Harrison
  • I'm not here to browbeat you, Mr. Worthington, or lie to you.

    The White Desert

    Courtney Ryley Cooper
  • Wolsey had raised a storm in 1523 by trying to browbeat the House of Commons.

    Henry VIII. A. F. Pollard
  • He cross-questioned the witnesses, and did his best to browbeat Peverell.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for browbeat


verb -beats, -beating, -beat, -beaten
(transitive) to discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
Derived Forms
browbeater, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for browbeat

"to bully," originally "to bear down with stern or arrogant looks," 1580s, from brow + beat (v.).

[I]t appears from the earliest quotations ... that the brow in question was that of the beater, not of the beaten party; but it is not evident whether the meaning was 'to beat with one's (frowning) brows,' or 'to beat (?lower) one's brows at.' [OED]
Related: Browbeaten; browbeating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for browbeat



To intimidate; strong-arm (1830s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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