- a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
- Archaic. a man hired to do violence.
- Obsolete. a pimp; procurer.
- Obsolete. good friend; good fellow.
- Obsolete. sweetheart; darling.
- to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer.
- to be loudly arrogant and overbearing.
- Informal. fine; excellent; very good.
- dashing; jovial; high-spirited.
- Informal. good! well done!
Origin of bully1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bulliest
"I'll give you the bulliest shine you ever had," said the ragamuffin.Brave and Bold
His nerve all through was the bulliest thing you ever saw, Uncle Bill.
And the one in this book was the bulliest fighter of the lot.T. Tembarom
Frances Hodgson Burnett
"Annie's the bulliest maid we ever had," Bobby had returned appreciatively.Much Ado About Peter
It is for meabout the bulliest fun I ever had in my life, said young Kent.The Boss of Wind River
David Goodger (email@example.com)
- a person who hurts, persecutes, or intimidates weaker people
- archaic a hired ruffian
- obsolete a procurer; pimp
- obsolete a fine fellow or friend
- obsolete a sweetheart; darling
- (when tr , often foll by into) to hurt, intimidate, or persecute (a weaker or smaller person), esp to make him do something
- dashing; jollymy bully boy
- informal very good; fine
- Also: bully for you informal well done! bravo!
- any of various small freshwater fishes of the genera Gobiomorphus and Philynodon of New ZealandAlso called (NZ): pakoko, titarakura, toitoi
Word Origin and History for bulliest
1530s, originally "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from Dutch boel "lover; brother," probably a diminutive of Middle Dutch broeder "brother" (cf. Middle High German buole "brother," source of German Buhle "lover;" see brother (n.)).
Meaning deteriorated 17c. through "fine fellow" and "blusterer" to "harasser of the weak" (1680s, from bully-ruffian, 1650s). Perhaps this was by influence of bull (n.1), but a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" may be in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of bully (though not specifically attested until 1706). The expression meaning "worthy, jolly, admirable" (especially in 1864 U.S. slang bully for you!) is first attested 1680s, and preserves an earlier, positive sense of the word.