A Word A Day : Bully

Thursday, 11th October 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Verb & Noun )

Pronunciation : bol-lee

1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people

2. An aggressive person who intimidates or mistreats weaker people

3. A hired ruffian

4. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner


Possibly from Middle Dutch boele, sweetheart, probably alteration of broeder, brother


Tormenter, Aggressor, Persecutor, Tyrant, Oppressor, Intimidator, Browbeater, Bulldozer, Hector, Intimidator


Lover, Helper, Friend, Cajole, Flatter, Urge, Allow, Leave Alone

Contextual Examples:

• I know whom I may bully and whom I must flatter. And I thus prolong my life to a good old age.

• I knew that boy at school. He took great airs on himself because he was a farmer's son. He used to swagger about and bully the little boys.

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