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bully1

[boo l-ee] /ˈbʊl i/
noun, plural bullies.
1.
a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
2.
Archaic. a man hired to do violence.
3.
Obsolete. a pimp; procurer.
4.
Obsolete. good friend; good fellow.
5.
Obsolete. sweetheart; darling.
verb (used with object), bullied, bullying.
6.
to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer.
verb (used without object), bullied, bullying.
7.
to be loudly arrogant and overbearing.
adjective
8.
Informal. fine; excellent; very good.
9.
dashing; jovial; high-spirited.
interjection
10.
Informal. good! well done!
Origin
1530-1540
1530-40; < Middle Dutch boele lover
Related forms
bullyable, adjective
unbullied, adjective
unbullying, adjective
Synonyms
6. cow, browbeat, coerce; terrorize, tyrannize.

bully2

[boo l-ee] /ˈbʊl i/
noun
Origin
1865-70; < French bouilli, short for boeuf bouilli boiled meat. See boil1, beef

bully3

[boo l-ee] /ˈbʊl i/
noun, plural bullies.
1.
Soccer. a desperate, freewheeling scramble for the ball by a number of players, usually in the goal area.
2.
Field Hockey. a method of putting the ball into play in which two opponents, facing each other, tap their sticks on the ground near the ball and then make contact with each other's sticks over the ball three times, after which each tries to gain possession of the ball.
Origin
1860-65; of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bullies
  • Homework horror stories are as timeworn as school bullies and cafeteria mystery meat.
  • Probably that accounts for the temporary indecision in the matter of bullies which he remembers.
  • We might think that bullies are quite different from the victims of bullying.
  • bullies have the same problem, different chemicals are missing.
  • But they note that social-networking sites have been used by cyber-bullies and online predators to target unwitting users.
  • The bullies orchestrating a witch hunt might applaud this fetid slop, but no one else.
  • bullies, then, might want to watch out who they pick on on the playground.
  • These are donuts of consequence, the bullies of the donut world.
  • The dramatic possibilities of infantile bullies goading each other to violence are sadly limited.
  • He meddles, bullies, and trusts his own football judgment too much.
British Dictionary definitions for bullies

bully1

/ˈbʊlɪ/
noun (pl) -lies
1.
a person who hurts, persecutes, or intimidates weaker people
2.
(archaic) a hired ruffian
3.
(obsolete) a procurer; pimp
4.
(obsolete) a fine fellow or friend
5.
(obsolete) a sweetheart; darling
verb -lies, -lying, -lied
6.
when tr, often foll by into. to hurt, intimidate, or persecute (a weaker or smaller person), esp to make him do something
adjective
7.
dashing; jolly: my bully boy
8.
(informal) very good; fine
interjection
9.
(informal) Also bully for you. well done! bravo!
Word Origin
C16 (in the sense: sweetheart, hence fine fellow, hence swaggering coward): probably from Middle Dutch boele lover, from Middle High German buole, perhaps childish variant of bruoderbrother

bully2

/ˈbʊlɪ/
noun (pl) -lies
1.
any of various small freshwater fishes of the genera Gobiomorphus and Philynodon of New Zealand Also called (NZ) pakoko, titarakura, toitoi
Word Origin
C20: short for cockabully
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bullies

bully

n.

1530s, originally "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from Dutch boel "lover; brother," probably a diminutive of Middle Dutch broeder "brother" (cf. Middle High German buole "brother," source of German Buhle "lover;" see brother (n.)).

Meaning deteriorated 17c. through "fine fellow" and "blusterer" to "harasser of the weak" (1680s, from bully-ruffian, 1650s). Perhaps this was by influence of bull (n.1), but a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" may be in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of bully (though not specifically attested until 1706). The expression meaning "worthy, jolly, admirable" (especially in 1864 U.S. slang bully for you!) is first attested 1680s, and preserves an earlier, positive sense of the word.

v.

1710, from bully (n.). Related: Bullied; bullying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bullies

bully

adjective

Excellent; good (1840s+)

interjection

: Bully for you! (1780s+)

noun

A track worker; gandy dancer (1900+ Railroad)

[first two senses fr bully, ''a beloved person, darling,'' of obscure origin, attested fr 1538. Bully, ''worthy, admirable,'' used of persons, is attested in 1681]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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