To attack or denounce vociferously, especially so as to intimidate.
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.
To coerce or attempt to coerce by the use of threats, intimidation, etc.
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.