Dictionary.com
QUIZ
SPRINT TO THE FINISH WITH THIS OLYMPICS QUIZ!
Compete in our Olympics quiz to see if you can take home the gold medal in Olympics knowledge.
Question 1 of 10
Where was the Olympics first held?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of bully

1
First recorded in 1530–40; from Middle Dutch boele “lover”

OTHER WORDS FROM bully

bul·ly·a·ble, adjectiveun·bul·lied, adjectiveun·bul·ly·ing, adjective

Other definitions for bully (2 of 3)

bully2
[ bool-ee ]
/ ˈbʊl i /

noun

Origin of bully

2
First recorded in 1750–55; from French bouilli, short for boeuf bouilli “boiled meat”; see origin at boil1, beef

Other definitions for bully (3 of 3)

bully3
[ bool-ee ]
/ ˈbʊl i /

noun, plural bul·lies.
Soccer. a desperate, freewheeling scramble for the ball by a number of players, usually in the goal area.
Field Hockey. a method of putting the ball into play in which two opponents, facing each other, tap their sticks on the ground near the ball and then make contact with each other's sticks over the ball three times, after which each tries to gain possession of the ball.

Origin of bully

3
First recorded in 1860–65; of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use bully in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bully (1 of 2)

Word Origin for bully

C16 (in the sense: sweetheart, hence fine fellow, hence swaggering coward): probably from Middle Dutch boele lover, from Middle High German buole, perhaps childish variant of bruoder brother

British Dictionary definitions for bully (2 of 2)

bully2
/ (ˈbʊlɪ) /

noun plural -lies
any of various small freshwater fishes of the genera Gobiomorphus and Philynodon of New ZealandAlso called (NZ): pakoko, titarakura, toitoi

Word Origin for bully

C20: short for cockabully
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
FEEDBACK