intimidate

[in-tim-i-deyt]

verb (used with object), in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing.

to make timid; fill with fear.
to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.
to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear: to intimidate a voter into staying away from the polls.

Nearby words

  1. intimate borrowing,
  2. intimately,
  3. intimation,
  4. intimations of immortality,
  5. intime,
  6. intimidated,
  7. intimidating,
  8. intimidation,
  9. intimist,
  10. intimitis

Origin of intimidate

1640–50; < Medieval Latin intimidātus, past participle of intimidāre to make afraid, equivalent to Latin in- in-2 + timid(us) timid, afraid + -ātus -ate1

Related forms
Can be confusedintimate intimidate

Synonym study

1. See discourage.

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

Examples from the Web for intimidate


British Dictionary definitions for intimidate

intimidate

verb (tr)

to make timid or frightened; scare
to discourage, restrain, or silence illegally or unscrupulously, as by threats or blackmail
Derived Formsintimidating, adjectiveintimidation, nounintimidator, noun

Word Origin for intimidate

C17: from Medieval Latin intimidāre, from Latin in- ² + timidus fearful, from timor fear

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 intimidate

intimidate

v.

1640s, from Medieval Latin intimidatus, past participle of intimidare "to frighten, intimidate," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + timidus "fearful" (see timid). Related: Intimidated; intimidating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper