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verb (used with object), brow·beat, brow·beat·en, brow·beat·ing.
  1. to intimidate by overbearing looks or words; bully: They browbeat him into agreeing.
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Origin of browbeat

First recorded in 1575–85; brow + beat
Related formsbrow·beat·er, noun

Synonyms for browbeat

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for browbeater

bulldozer, intimidator, ruffian, tyrant, harasser, tormentor

Examples from the Web for browbeater

Historical Examples of browbeater

  • And only think of Browbeater succeeding such an office, as excellent, respected, and admirable Tom Silver left behind him!

    Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent

    William Carleton

British Dictionary definitions for browbeater


verb -beats, -beating, -beat or -beaten
  1. (tr) to discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
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Derived Formsbrowbeater, 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

Word Origin and History for browbeater



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper