Definition of bribe in English:



[with object]
  • Dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one's favour by a gift of money or other inducement.

    ‘they attempted to bribe opponents into losing’
    with object and infinitive ‘they had bribed an official to sell them a certificate’
    • ‘We can then use that money to pay for lawsuits, malpractice, and bribing politicians… I mean lobbying politicians.’
    • ‘No matter how much money she bribed the men with, they didn't let her enter the library, or even order a book.’
    • ‘I still could think of nothing else, short of bribing the guard.’
    • ‘He slept in parks, begging or bribing people to take him in at night.’
    • ‘It then also occurred to me that I had only passed my high school Chemistry class by bribing the teacher.’
    • ‘Whenever child actors were required, dad encouraged me to act by bribing me with an increase in pocket money.’
    • ‘You really want to be bribed - but which party is really bribing you more?’
    • ‘Fairytales were always a bit of a swindle, bribing us with happy endings to accept their sanctimonious morality.’
    • ‘They're now under investigation for having bribed foreign officials during that period of time.’
    • ‘Don't think that I'm bribing you, I allow you free choice.’
    • ‘The suggestion was that the man was bribed to tell a false story.’
    • ‘Congress voted to set up a special commission to decide it, and those members were bribed from there.’
    • ‘Other examples would include bribing a prosecution witness.’
    • ‘But then I frowned because it was probably just my dad bribing me.’
    • ‘You could also try bribing a friend with an allotment.’
    • ‘‘I feel as though you're blackmailing or bribing me,’ I said ruefully.’
    • ‘U.S. companies are forbidden from bribing officials.’
    • ‘Did they tip the balance in their favour by bribing officials?’
    • ‘This leads to corruption, though - civilian elites resort to bribing officers to obtain free labor, and worse.’
    • ‘The problem was I was very shy and didn't want to do it, so my Mum bribed me with a lipstick and I agreed to do it.’
    buy off, pay off, suborn, give an inducement to, corrupt
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  • A sum of money or other inducement offered or given to bribe someone.

    ‘lawmakers were caught accepting bribes to bring in legalized gambling’
    • ‘He had offered a bribe to an official in order to demonstrate that the official was corrupt.’
    • ‘He thought I was accepting Alyssa's bribes or letting her blackmail me into getting them back together.’
    • ‘Tara was willing to accept the bribe to settle down.’
    • ‘They will probably have to pay larger bribes and offer better terms to overcome their questionable past.’
    • ‘No one else in any way threatened or coerced Jones, offered Jones a bribe, or even suggested that he shoot Smith.’
    • ‘Said Finn pulling the bribe money he had brought along out of his bag.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, I realized that a fair review was possible if I could find a person who would not accept my bribes.’
    • ‘In dealings with government officials, a bribe usually is offered.’
    • ‘For I was both, angry at the constable for accepting the bribe, and fearful of what my dear step-brother had planned.’
    • ‘They've gone as far as illegal activities - offering bribes on the floor of the House, holding votes open for three hours.’
    • ‘Each goddess offers the youth a bribe in return for a vote in her favor.’
    • ‘Benicia continues to charm him, and offers him a bribe.’
    • ‘This isn't about any of our administration accepting bribes and contributions.’
    • ‘The patient may offer bribes or sex, or may make outright threats of harm to person or property.’
    • ‘It wasn't the first time he'd been bribed, nor the first time he accepted a bribe.’
    • ‘Every time she accepts a bribe in exchange for spreading a virus, her power decreases.’
    • ‘A service or industry job often goes to the individual who can offer the highest bribe to company officials.’
    • ‘The police officer accepts the bribe after telling them that all strangers are arrested in France.’
    • ‘But as long as others are free to offer bribes, some will try to buy special licenses to bypass the monopoly.’
    • ‘There's still corruption going on, bribes offered.’
    inducement, incentive
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Late Middle English: from Old French briber, brimber ‘beg’, of unknown origin. The original sense was ‘rob, extort’, hence (as a noun) ‘theft, stolen goods’, also ‘money extorted or demanded for favours’, later ‘offer money as an inducement’ (early 16th century).