1530, a term of endearment, probably a diminutive ( + -y) of Dutch boel (“lover; brother”), from Middle Dutch boel, boele (“brother; lover”), from Old Dutch *bōlo, from Proto-Germanic *bōlô (compare Middle Low German bōle (“brother”), Middle High German buole ("brother; close relative; close relation"; > German Buhle (“lover”)), Old English Bōla, Bōlla (personal name), diminutive of expressive *bō- (“brother, father”). Compare also Latvian bālinš (“brother”). More at boy.
- 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.
- "Bully Bottom" from A Midsummer Night's Dream, III, i, 6.
- The small scrum in the Eton College field game.
- A small freshwater fish.
- (dialectal or obsolete) An (eldest) brother; a fellow workman
- (dialectal) A companion; mate (male or female)
- (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”, in 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.
- (intimidate): browbeat, hector, intimidate, pick on, ride roughshod over
- (act aggressively toward): push around, ride roughshod over
- (US, slang) Very good; excellent.
- a bully horse
- (slang) Jovial and blustering; dashing.
- Bless thee, bully doctor.