- 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 bullier
He just wanted a bullier pulpit than a talk show from which to sound the alarm.Putting Words in Gore Vidal’s Mouth—a Copywriter Recalls the 1982 Senate Campaign
August 6, 2012
Take him all round, pard, there never was a bullier man in the mines.Roughing It
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
I still have time to appear at Bullier's and meet Zoe Mirilton.A Romance of Youth, Complete
He had fitted her out for an evening at the Bullier for twenty-five francs.Mlle. Fouchette
Charles Theodore Murray
But the “Bullier” is closing and the crowd is pouring out into the cool air.The Real Latin Quarter
F. Berkeley Smith
Gaining in audacity, he danced at Bullier's, dined at Foyd's, and at last had a mistress.Other People's Money
- 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 bullier
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.