- 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 for bully on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bullied
How many Christian kids are bullied in school for being sissies or tomboys?Do LGBTs Owe Christians an Olive Branch? Try The Other Way Around
December 14, 2014
“NATO bullied us in Georgia and now they are doing the same again here, and we have to stop them,” says Alan.East Ukraine: Back in the USSR
November 19, 2014
In cases such as a spate of recent suicides by adolescents who were bullied on Facebook, the perpetrators were well known.Outed Madeleine McCann Troll Kills Herself. But Millions Live On Online.
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 6, 2014
Even in my conservative small-town high school, I was bullied more for wearing skinny jeans than I was for being an atheist.Loud, Proud, and Atheist: ‘Openly Secular’ Encourages Nonbelievers to Come Out of the Closet
September 25, 2014
The sufferers have been bullied, the bullies have suffered, everyone has a wound deeper than someone else.Why We Should Hate 'Haters Gonna Hate'
August 25, 2014
Why, they've hounded you and bullied you until they've made you think you are bad, Andrew.Way of the Lawless
Yes, he has been so harsh to you; but it is his nature, he is so to every one, and you are not the only one whom he has bullied.The Black Tulip
Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
And all that time they had submitted to be bullied and blustered at.Cleo The Magnificent
He hated all cats but his own cat, by whom he was bullied in a most outrageous way.A Boy I Knew and Four Dogs
But after a quarrel, when the laundress had bullied her, the old woman was not sparing in her allusions.L'Assommoir
- 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 bullied
1851, past participle adjective from bully (v.).
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.