Definition of intimidate in English:



  • Frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants.

    ‘he tries to intimidate his rivals’
    ‘the intimidating defense lawyer’
    • ‘Don't let politicians or the media browbeat you, intimidate you or lie about you.’
    • ‘So to be honest, it intimidates me, a lowly four-day-a-week contractor.’
    • ‘In my last week I was intimidated by drug users, ordered around like a lackey, and threatened.’
    • ‘Our country is still the target of terrorists who want to kill many and intimidate us all.’
    • ‘I don't usually argue back to him, he intimidates me, but he caught me at a bad time.’
    • ‘A gang of six teenagers intimidated him and his friends before demanding his mobile phone.’
    • ‘The floral arrangement of lilies intimidated me a bit because it was bigger than me - good to hide behind.’
    • ‘It actually slightly intimidated me in return, which I guess was the point.’
    • ‘Some of my friends are very wise, which sometimes intimidates me.’
    • ‘Although he was quite intimidated by her appearance, the butler gathered up all of his nerve to speak to her.’
    • ‘I can't say that the bullying didn't occasionally get to me, but I didn't let them intimidate me.’
    • ‘No amount of threats will intimidate or frighten us off our path for fairness and justice.’
    • ‘In fact, they knew full well that they were intimidating and frightening other people.’
    • ‘These are designed to intimidate you back to work before you start.’
    • ‘The running dogs of the masculinist oppressors will never intimidate me!’
    • ‘Oh I forgot, the nice man intimidated her into signing the car documents over to him.’
    • ‘A proper inquiry became almost impossible, and she was intimidated, at work and outside.’
    • ‘Maybe I was too intimidated to help out, or maybe I was still trying to digest it all.’
    • ‘I don't think respect is something that you can get by intimidating someone.’
    • ‘She had been in here far too many times to allow the darkness to intimidate her in any way.’
    frighten, menace, terrify, scare, alarm, terrorize, overawe, awe, cow, subdue, discourage, daunt, unnerve
    threaten, domineer, browbeat, bully, pressure, pressurize, harass, harry, hound, hector, torment, plague
    tyrannize, persecute, oppress
    push about, push around, lean on, bulldoze, steamroller, railroad, twist someone's arm, use strong-arm tactics on
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Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin intimidat- made timid from the verb intimidare (based on timidus timid).