Nearby words

  1. bullshot,
  2. bullsnake,
  3. bullwaddy,
  4. bullwhacker,
  5. bullwhip,
  6. bully beef,
  7. bully pulpit,
  8. bully tree,
  9. bully-off,
  10. bullyboy

Origin of bully

1
First recorded in 1530–40, bully is from the Middle Dutch word boele lover

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

bully

2
[ boo l-ee ]
/ ˈbʊl i /

noun

Origin of bully

2
1865–70; < French bouilli, short for boeuf bouilli boiled meat. See boil1, beef

bully

3
[ boo l-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. 2019

Examples from the Web for bully


British Dictionary definitions for bully

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

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

Word Origin and History for bully
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper