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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 browbeaten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let us, therefore, not be browbeaten by civilization on account of its antiquity.

  • He had learned that the students would not be browbeaten or bullied.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • From that time forth it was recognized that he was not the sort of man to be browbeaten.

  • He was not one to be browbeaten or cheated, and he resolved to fight out the battle.

    Tom, The Bootblack Horatio Alger
  • She was a haughty old dame, but she was browbeaten by her maid.

    Mistress Anne Temple Bailey
  • We can show him that boy scouts are not to be trifled with and browbeaten.

    Roy Blakeley's Silver Fox Patrol

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • Why should he be browbeaten into communicating his private affairs to a stranger?

    Rose Charlitte Marshall Saunders
  • I asked if these shackled and browbeaten prisoners were Christians.

British Dictionary definitions for browbeaten


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 browbeaten



"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 browbeaten



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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