verb (used with object), brow·beat, brow·beat·en, brow·beat·ing.

to intimidate by overbearing looks or words; bully: They browbeat him into agreeing.

Origin of browbeat

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

Synonyms for browbeat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for browbeating

Contemporary Examples of browbeating

Historical Examples of browbeating

British Dictionary definitions for browbeating


verb -beats, -beating, -beat or -beaten

(tr) to discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
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 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