Mau-mau Definition

To coerce or attempt to coerce by the use of threats, intimidation, etc.
Webster's New World
To attack or denounce vociferously, especially so as to intimidate.
American Heritage

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

A member of a secret society of Kikuyu tribesmen in Kenya, organized c. 1951 to fight against white rule: both the movement and its suppression were marked by terrorism and violence.
Webster's New World

Origin of Mau-mau

  • 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 American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

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