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intimidate

[in-tim-i-deyt] /ɪnˈtɪm ɪˌdeɪt/
verb (used with object), intimidated, intimidating.
1.
to make timid; fill with fear.
2.
to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.
3.
to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear:
to intimidate a voter into staying away from the polls.
Origin of intimidate
1640-1650
1640-50; < Medieval Latin intimidātus, past participle of intimidāre to make afraid, equivalent to Latin in- in-2 + timid(us) timid, afraid + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
intimidation, noun
intimidator, noun
intimidatory
[in-tim-i-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈtɪm ɪ dəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective
unintimidated, adjective
unintimidating, adjective
Can be confused
intimate, intimidate.
Synonyms
1. frighten, subdue, daunt, terrify. See discourage.
Antonyms
1. calm. 3. encourage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for intimidate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • These kisses however, which she had not had the strength at first to resist, began to intimidate the young girl.

    The Vicomte de Bragelonne Alexandre Dumas
  • But think not it is by way of menace, or to intimidate you to favour me.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Ariovistus sent thither about 16,000 of his light troops and all his cavalry, to intimidate the Romans and impede the works.

    History of Julius Caesar Vol. 2 of 2 Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 1808-1873.
  • In short, though you can intimidate him, you cannot bluff him.

  • Maybe, my presence here is meant only as a threat, intending to bring those to their senses whom it ought to intimidate.

British Dictionary definitions for intimidate

intimidate

/ɪnˈtɪmɪˌdeɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to make timid or frightened; scare
2.
to discourage, restrain, or silence illegally or unscrupulously, as by threats or blackmail
Derived Forms
intimidating, adjective
intimidation, noun
intimidator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin intimidāre, from Latin in-² + timidus fearful, from timor fear
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 intimidate
v.

1640s, from Medieval Latin intimidatus, past participle of intimidare "to frighten, intimidate," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + timidus "fearful" (see timid). Related: Intimidated; intimidating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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