Last modified on 31 March 2014, at 15:24
1530, from Dutch boel (“lover, brother”), from Middle Dutch boel, boele (“brother, lover”), from Proto-Germanic *bō-lan- (compare Middle Low German bōle (“brother”), Middle High German buole (“brother, close relative, close relation”), German Buhle (“lover”)), diminutive of expressive *bō- (“brother, father”). More at boy.
bully (countable and uncountable, plural bullies)
- A person who is cruel to others, especially those who are weaker or have less power.
- A playground bully pushed a girl off the swing.
- I noticed you being a bully towards people with disabilities.
- A noisy, blustering fellow, more insolent than courageous; one who is threatening and quarrelsome; an insolent, tyrannical fellow.
- Bullies seldom execute the threats they deal in.
- A hired thug.
- A prostitute’s minder; a pimp.
- (uncountable) Bully beef.
- (obsolete) A brisk, dashing fellow.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- The small scrum in the Eton College field game.
- A small freshwater fish.
person who is cruel to others
- Afrikaans: boelie
- Arabic: مستأسد m (mustá'sid)
- Bulgarian: хулиган (bg) m (huligan), побойник (bg) m (pobojnik)
- Mandarin: 土霸 (zh) (tǔbà), 暴徒 (zh) (bàotú)
- Danish: bølle, tyran
- Dutch: wreedaard m, f, pestkop (nl) m, treiteraar (nl) m
- Esperanto: ĉikanulo
- Estonian: türann, kiusaja, riiukukk
- Finnish: kiusaaja (fi)
- French: tyran (fr) m, brute (fr) f
- German: Rabauke (de) m, Bully m, Tyrann (de) m
- Hebrew: בריון m (biryon)
- Irish: ansmachtaí m
- Italian: bullo (it) m, spaccone m, smargiasso m, prepotente (it) m, arrogante (it) m
- Japanese: 苛め (いじめ, ijime), 苛めっ子 (いじめっこ, ijimekko)
- Jèrriais: bruta m
- Macedonian: силеџија m (siledžija), насилник m (nasilnik)
- Portuguese: rufião (pt) m, valentão (pt) m
- Romanian: tiran (ro) m
- Russian: задира (ru) m, f (zadira), забияка (ru) m, f (zabijaka), громила (ru) m, f (gromila), хулиган (ru) m (xuligan), тиран (ru) m (tiran)
- Scottish Gaelic: maoidhear m, burraidh m, pulaidh m
- Spanish: bravucón m, abusón (es) m, matón, abusador (es) m, peleón m, pendenciero m, perdonavidas m, matasiete m
- Swedish: mobbare (sv) c
- Turkish: zorba (tr)
bully (third-person singular simple present bullies, present participle bullying, simple past and past participle bullied)
- (transitive) To intimidate (someone) as a bully.
- You shouldn't bully people for being gay.
- (transitive) To act aggressively towards.
- 2011 January 15, Sam Sheringham, “Chelsea 2 -03 Blackburn Rovers”, BBC:
- The Potters know their strengths and played to them perfectly here, out-muscling Bolton in midfield and bullying the visitors' back-line at every opportunity.
act aggressively towards
- German: tyrannisieren, drangsalieren (de), kujonieren (de)
- Macedonian: тиранизира (tiranizíra)
- Portuguese: atormentar (pt), aterrorizar (pt), maltratar (pt), tiranizar (pt), oprimir (pt)
- Russian: тиранизировать (tiranizírovat’), задирать (ru) impf (zadirát’), задрать (ru) pf (zadrát’), терроризировать (ru) (terrorizírovat’)
- Scottish Gaelic: maoidh
- Spanish: tiranizar (es), acosar (es)
bully (comparative bullier, superlative bulliest)
- (US, slang) Very good; excellent.
- a bully horse
- (slang) Jovial and blustering; dashing.
- Bless thee, bully doctor.
- (often followed by for) Well done!
- She's finally leaving her abusive husband — bully for her!