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.

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 formsin·tim·i·da·tion, nounin·tim·i·da·tor, nounin·tim·i·da·to·ry [in-tim-i-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈtɪm ɪ dəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveun·in·tim·i·dat·ed, adjectiveun·in·tim·i·dat·ing, adjective
Can be confusedintimate intimidate

Synonyms for intimidate

Synonym study

1. See discourage.

Antonyms for intimidate

1. calm. 3. encourage. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for intimidated

terrified, daunted, browbeaten, cowed, bullied, afraid

Examples from the Web for intimidated

Contemporary Examples of intimidated

Historical Examples of intimidated

  • Surely thou must fancy that I am to be intimidated by the ravings of a woman.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • Gervaise was intimidated by this strange reception and felt uneasy.


    Emile Zola

  • She was intimidated; she was a woman and she could not help herself.

  • Some they bought—some they ruined—some they intimidated—some they destroyed by calumny.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • Why were the poor men to be threatened, intimidated, bullied by armed force?


    David Christie Murray

British Dictionary definitions for intimidated


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 intimidated



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