verb (used with object), bull·dozed, bull·doz·ing.

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), bull·dozed, bull·doz·ing.

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”

Synonyms for bulldoze

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bulldoze

Contemporary Examples of bulldoze

Historical Examples of bulldoze

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for bulldoze


verb (tr)

to move, demolish, flatten, etc, with a bulldozer
informal to force; pushhe bulldozed his way through the crowd
informal to intimidate or coerce

Word Origin for bulldoze

C19: probably from bull 1 + 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

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