Definition of browbeat in US English:



[with object]
  • Intimidate (someone), typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words.

    ‘a witness is being browbeaten under cross-examination’
    • ‘Earlier this week the Ministry tried to browbeat the teachers into compliance by instructing principals to send round a memo ‘requiring’ staff to perform all their duties.’
    • ‘There, barring a few bad eggs whom you rarely get to hear about, most students are interested in education rather than browbeating other students.’
    • ‘As I was saying, if our mothers can't browbeat us into getting married, what hope has a faceless government bureaucracy?’
    • ‘Instead, they browbeat her, repeatedly cut her off in mid-answer, accused her of ‘filibustering’ and said she was lying…’
    • ‘He said: ‘I definitely did not browbeat her, it was a misunderstanding of my sense of humour.’’
    • ‘I knew that if I didn't say no straight away he would browbeat me into saying yes, or make me feel so guilty that I'd be practically begging him to stay.’
    • ‘I talk to very tough people, I don't browbeat children or old women, I browbeat people who can take it.’
    • ‘The people at Scottish Racing do not seem to be browbeating ministers, civil servants and enterprise companies, so I will do it for them.’
    • ‘He impressed me then, as he does now, as someone who prefers to browbeat opponents rather than reason with them.’
    • ‘Don't let politicians or the media browbeat you, intimidate you or lie about you.’
    • ‘Now, instead of browbeating his chosen boys into submission, he let them do whatever they wanted.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, departmental inquiries inevitably favor the offenders and browbeat women into abandoning their complaints, say social workers.’
    • ‘Their comments came as the new Lord Chief Justice warned ministers not to browbeat judges over how anti-terror laws and other legislation should be applied.’
    • ‘They're condemning and browbeating anyone who questions any of this, branding dissenters as unpatriotic and treasonous.’
    • ‘His was a strict Presbyterian Scottish background, and his father just browbeat him to get him to work so he'd get into university.’
    • ‘British television screens are once more hosting the talking heads - patronising, confident and ultra-informed - that have so often browbeaten us into following them along the path to social catastrophe.’
    • ‘And, to believe that ‘fighting back’ consists of browbeating our elected politicians into standing up and denouncing Republican badness and wrongness is infantile.’
    • ‘It seems that they are cracking down on just about any kind of protest lately, trying to browbeat anyone that doesn't agree with them.’
    • ‘Finally, Reno began to visit Ms. Furster on a regular basis and browbeat her with accusations and promises of a life sentence unless she cooperated (that is, told the jury what Reno wanted her to say).’
    • ‘Vote your conscience even if other jurors browbeat you.’
    bully, hector, intimidate, force, coerce, compel, badger, dragoon, cow, bludgeon, persecute, domineer, oppress, pressure, pressurize, tyrannize, terrorize, menace, subjugate, use strong-arm tactics on
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