Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To attack or denounce vociferously, especially so as to intimidate.

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

  • verb transitive To menace through intimidating tactics; to intimidate, harass; to terrorize.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After the Mau Mau, a secret society of Kikuyu insurgents that led a rebellion against the ruling Europeans in Kenya in the 1950s, perhaps from Kikuyu mau-mau, sound of the voracious gobbling of a hyena.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Mau Mau, the name of a group of anti-British insurgents in Kenya, who were noted in Europe for their (alleged) extreme violence and brutality.

Examples

Comments

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  • The only person I've ever witnessed use this word is Mickey Kaus. The Mickey Kaus definition of this word, as far as I can tell, is "bullying, when done by liberals".

    April 28, 2009

  • I believe that one of Tom Wolfe's early essay collections was called "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak-catchers".

    April 28, 2009

  • Hmmmm. At work we have a volunteer called Mau-Mau who helps out on Fridays. He's from Myanmar.

    April 28, 2009