Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing fellow; a swaggerer; a swashbuckler; one who hectors, browbeats, or domineers.
  • noun A companion; a high-spirited, dashing fellow: a familiar term of address.
  • noun A degraded fellow who protects fallen women and lives on their gains.
  • noun A Cornish name of the shanny. Also bullycod.
  • noun In Tasmania, a species of blenny, Blennius tasmanicus.
  • Blustering; hectoring; ruffianly.
  • Brisk; dashing; jovial; high-spirited.
  • Fine; capital; good: as, a bully horse, picture, etc.
  • noun Canned or pickled beef. Also attrib., as bully beef.
  • noun Same as bully-tree. Also called bully-bay and bully-berry tree.
  • noun In mining, a kind of hammer used in striking the drill or borer. In its simplest form it has a square section at the eye and an octagonal face.
  • noun The bullace or sloe.
  • To act the bully toward; overbear with bluster or menaces.
  • To make fearful; overawe; daunt; terrorize.
  • Synonyms To browbeat, hector, domineer over.
  • To be loudly arrogant and overbearing; be noisy and quarrelsome.
  • Synonyms To bluster, swagger, vapor.
  • noun In field-hockey, the beginning of a game and the starting of each goal. A player from each side stands facing the sideline, and strikes first the ground and then the stick of his opponent alternately three times, after which either player may strike the ball: as soon as it is so struck the ball is in play.
  • noun A foot-ball scrimmage.
  • noun The foreman or boss of a logging-camp.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To act as a bully{1}.
  • interjection Well done! Excellent!
  • Pickled or canned beef.
  • transitive verb To intimidate or badger with threats and by an overbearing, swaggering demeanor; to act the part of a bully{1} toward.
  • noun A noisy, blustering fellow, more insolent than courageous, who threatens, intimidates, or badgers people who are smaller or weaker than he is; an insolent, tyrannical fellow.
  • noun Slang Obs. A brisk, dashing fellow.
  • adjective Slang Jovial and blustering; dashing.
  • adjective Slang, U.S. Fine; excellent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who is cruel to others, especially those who are weaker or have less power.
  • noun A hired thug.
  • noun A prostitute’s minder; a pimp.
  • noun uncountable Bully beef.
  • verb transitive To intimidate (someone) as a bully.
  • verb transitive To act aggressively towards.
  • adjective Very good; excellent.
  • interjection Well done!

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a hired thug
  • adjective very good
  • verb discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
  • verb be bossy towards
  • noun a cruel and brutal fellow

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

  • We start with the biggest bully on the block, because everyone knows that if you stand up and take down the big _bully, others will respect you

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • It was on that vacation that Roosevelt coined the term "bully pulpit" and brushed aside concerns about his vacation safety so soon after his predecessor was assassinated.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

  • James Dobson has given new meaning to the term bully pulpit.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • James Dobson has given new meaning to the term bully pulpit.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • James Dobson has given new meaning to the term bully pulpit.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • James Dobson has given new meaning to the term bully pulpit.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • As a matter of fact the Quinnipiac poll, which surveyed 1,532 registered New Jersey voters, noted that "bully" and "arrogant" were the top two words offered when voters were asked, with no suggestions given, to describe Christie in one word, with the word "bully" out distancing "arrogant" by more than three times.

    Caren Z. Turner: Bully and the Bully Pulpit

  • As a matter of fact the Quinnipiac poll, which surveyed 1,532 registered New Jersey voters, noted that "bully" and "arrogant" were the top two words offered when voters were asked, with no suggestions given, to describe Christie in one word, with the word "bully" out distancing "arrogant" by more than three times.

    Caren Z. Turner: Bully and the Bully Pulpit

  • As a matter of fact the Quinnipiac poll, which surveyed 1,532 registered New Jersey voters, noted that "bully" and "arrogant" were the top two words offered when voters were asked, with no suggestions given, to describe Christie in one word, with the word "bully" out distancing "arrogant" by more than three times.

    Caren Z. Turner: Bully and the Bully Pulpit

  • When a bully is at work they are about one main thing, control.

    Five Ways to Handle a Bully at Work | myFiveBest

Comments

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  • It was a real bully circus. HF 22

    December 7, 2006

  • A Teddy Roosevelt interjection.

    August 12, 2007

  • word used to describe really good recipes in my grandmother's cookbook

    January 9, 2009

  • meaning has gone from "something commendable" to "brute"

    September 8, 2009

  • Such an interesting word: mining, beef, football, pimps.

    July 1, 2015