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[boo l-dohz] /ˈbʊlˌdoʊz/
verb (used with object), bulldozed, bulldozing.
to clear, level, or reshape the contours of (land) by or as if by using a bulldozer:
to bulldoze a building site.
to clear away by or as if by using a bulldozer:
to bulldoze trees from a site.
to coerce or intimidate, as with threats.
verb (used without object), bulldozed, bulldozing.
to use a bulldozer:
to clear this rubble away we may have to bulldoze.
to advance or force one's way in the manner of a bulldozer.
Origin of bulldoze
1875-80, Americanism; origin uncertain; the notion that it represents a verb use of bull dose, i.e., a dose fit for a bull, is probably without merit; defs 1, 2, 4, 5 are back formations from bulldozer in the sense “tractor”
3. browbeat, cow, bully, hector; tyrannize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bulldoze
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have to browbeat, bribe, blackmail and bulldoze you thugs into doing a simple job.

    The Repairman Harry Harrison
  • That young assayer Russell started to bulldoze when Sandy took a hand.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • No call to bulldoze a fellow just because you happened to be first on the spot!

    Dorothy's Travels Evelyn Raymond
  • But you can see that we can't allow these men to bulldoze us.

    Desert Conquest

    A. M. Chisholm
  • Perhaps that crowd is coming over again to bulldoze us, he suggested.

  • He saw that he could not bulldoze the master of the Hall, and his manner changed.

    The Putnam Hall Rivals Arthur M. Winfield
  • Now if you try to bulldoze me further, I'll slap your wrists.

    The Little Brown Jug at Kildare Meredith Nicholson
  • He had just come of age, and wanted to bulldoze me with that fact.

    The Iron Puddler James J. Davis
  • He had thought to bulldoze the widow and her son, but he was getting decidedly the worse of the encounter.

    The Young Bridge-Tender Arthur M. Winfield
British Dictionary definitions for bulldoze


verb (transitive)
to move, demolish, flatten, etc, with a bulldozer
(informal) to force; push: he bulldozed his way through the crowd
(informal) to intimidate or coerce
Word Origin
C19: probably from bull1 + dose
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 bulldoze

by 1880, from an earlier noun, bulldose "a severe beating or lashing" (1876), literally "a dose fit for a bull," a slang word referring to the intimidation beating of black voters (by either blacks or whites) in the chaotic 1876 U.S. presidential election. See bull (n.1) + dose (n.). Related: Bulldozed; bulldozing.

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



To intimidate; overcome by force •Early use of the term is connected with Southern politics of the Reconstruction period and describes the intimidation of black men who wished to vote: to bulldoze employees

[1870s+; fr bulldose, ''to beat, flog with a strip of leather,'' perhaps fr the notion of the dose of force needed to cow a bull]

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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