Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for browbeat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They walked round and round each other, seeming almost to tiptoe in their efforts to browbeat.

    In the Brooding Wild Ridgwell Cullum
  • You mustn't think you can browbeat these boys, because you can't.

    Roy Blakeley's Camp on Wheels Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • It is not a very manly thing, Mr. Holmes, to come here and browbeat a woman.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Crosby was her property, to browbeat and maltreat as seemed best to her.

    The Madigans Miriam Michelson
  • Robert Beverley said it was his constant practice to browbeat and vilify both lawyers and their clients.

    Give Me Liberty Thomas J. Wertenbaker
  • I'm not here to browbeat you, Mr. Worthington, or lie to you.

    The White Desert Courtney Ryley Cooper
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for browbeat

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for browbeat

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for browbeat