[ in-tim-i-deyt ]
See synonyms for: intimidateintimidatedintimidatesintimidating on

verb (used with object),in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing.
  1. to make timid; fill with fear.

  2. to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.

  1. to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear: to intimidate a voter into staying away from the polls.

Origin of intimidate

First recorded in 1640–50; from Medieval Latin intimidātus, past participle of intimidāre “to make afraid,” equivalent to Latin in- verb-formative prefix + timid(us) “afraid” + -ātus past participle suffix; see in-2, timid, -ate1

synonym study For intimidate

1. See discourage.

Other words for intimidate

Opposites for intimidate

Other words from intimidate

  • in·tim·i·da·tion [in-tim-i-dey-shuhn] /ɪnˌtɪm ɪˈdeɪ ʃən/ noun
  • in·tim·i·da·tor, noun
  • in·tim·i·da·to·ry [in-tim-i-duh-tawr-ee], /ɪnˈtɪm ɪ dəˌtɔr i/, adjective

Words that may be confused with intimidate

Words Nearby intimidate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use intimidate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for intimidate


/ (ɪnˈtɪmɪˌdeɪt) /

  1. to make timid or frightened; scare

  2. to discourage, restrain, or silence illegally or unscrupulously, as by threats or blackmail

Origin of intimidate

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

Derived forms of intimidate

  • intimidating, adjective
  • intimidation, noun
  • intimidator, noun

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