Last modified on 12 August 2014, at 22:53

bully

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

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.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

bully (countable and uncountable, plural bullies)

  1. 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.
  2. A noisy, blustering fellow, more insolent than courageous; one who is threatening and quarrelsome; an insolent, tyrannical fellow.
    • Palmerston
      Bullies seldom execute the threats they deal in.
  3. A hired thug.
  4. A prostitute’s minder; a pimp.
  5. (uncountable) Bully beef.
  6. (obsolete) A brisk, dashing fellow.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  7. The small scrum in the Eton College field game.
  8. A small freshwater fish.

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VerbEdit

bully (third-person singular simple present bullies, present participle bullying, simple past and past participle bullied)

  1. (transitive) To intimidate (someone) as a bully.
    You shouldn't bully people for being gay.
  2. (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.

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AdjectiveEdit

bully (comparative bullier, superlative bulliest)

  1. (US, slang) Very good; excellent.
    a bully horse
  2. (slang) Jovial and blustering; dashing.
    • Shakespeare
      Bless thee, bully doctor.

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InterjectionEdit

bully

  1. (often followed by for) Well done!
    She's finally leaving her abusive husband — bully for her!

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