- The definition of a bully is someone who is mean to others and who throws his weight around.
An example of a bully is the big kid on the playground who steals everyone's lunch money.
A young man being a bully.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- a person who hurts, frightens, or tyrannizes over those who are smaller or weaker
- Brit., Dialectal a companion or comrade
- Archaic a pimp
- Archaic a hired cutthroat or thug
- Archaic a fine fellow
Origin: origin, originally , sweetheart ; from Dutch boel, lover, brother ; from Middle High German buole (Ger buhle), lover, probably origin, originally diminutive of bruder, brother; later influenced, influence by bull
- dashing, hearty, or jolly: my bully lad
- ☆ Informal fine; very good
Origin: French bouilli, boiled beef ; from past participle of bouillir, boil
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. bul·lies
- A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
- A hired ruffian; a thug.
- A pimp.
- Archaic A fine person.
- Archaic A sweetheart.
- To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner. See Synonyms at intimidate.
- To make (one's way) aggressively.
- To behave like a bully.
- To force one's way aggressively or by intimidation: “They bully into line at the gas pump” (Martin Gottfried).
Origin: Possibly from Middle Dutch boele, sweetheart, probably alteration of broeder, brother; see bhrāter- in Indo-European roots.
Origin: Perhaps French bouilli, boiled meat, label on canned beef, from past participle of bouillir, to boil, from Old French boilir; see boil1.