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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.
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Examples from the Web for browbeating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was Elfride's first fragile attempt at browbeating a lover.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • What in hell do you mean by browbeating my nurse and forcing yourself in here!

    The Lost Despatch Natalie Sumner Lincoln
  • No wonder he thought them a lot of savages, browbeating their hostess the way they did.

    When a Man Marries Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Where the South cannot effect her object by browbeating, she wheedles.

  • A browbeating counsel asked a witness how far he had been from a certain place.

    The Jest Book Mark Lemon
  • He doesn't like me because I stood up for old Campwell when he was browbeating the man.

    Marching on Niagara Edward Stratemeyer
  • The Watertown men must soon have recovered from the browbeating he had given them.

  • He interrupted my interrogatory with another, ever an effectual aid in browbeating.

    Miriam Monfort Catherine A. Warfield
  • A browbeating lawyer was demanding that a witness answer a certain question either in the negative or affirmative.

    Toaster's Handbook Peggy Edmund and Harold W. Williams, compilers
British Dictionary definitions for browbeating


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 browbeating



"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 browbeating



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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