9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-tim-i-deyt] /ɪnˈtɪm ɪˌdeɪt/
verb (used with object), intimidated, intimidating.
to make timid; fill with fear.
to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.
to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear:
to intimidate a voter into staying away from the polls.
Origin of intimidate
1640-50; < 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
[in-tim-i-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈtɪm ɪ dəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
unintimidated, adjective
unintimidating, adjective
Can be confused
intimate, intimidate.
1. frighten, subdue, daunt, terrify. See discourage.
1. calm. 3. encourage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for intimidation
  • She has complained that the dean has imposed his plans on the faculty and that he has ruled by intimidation.
  • Independent observers talked of ballot stuffing and intimidation.
  • The queen keeps the rest from mating by sheer intimidation.
  • It re-introduces a culture of informality into the workplace, where intimidation will undoubtedly flourish.
  • Censorship and intimidation have been the standard way of doing things.
  • With siblings and peers, he tends toward verbal and physical intimidation.
  • At which, commerce can go on, people go about their daily lives without enormous intimidation.
  • Where intimidation failed to work, as it often has, tanks rumbled on to the streets.
  • Tyranny today no longer requires armed intimidation.
  • There could be some residual intimidation that ices the rational idea, too, but who could know.
British Dictionary definitions for intimidation


verb (transitive)
to make timid or frightened; scare
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for intimidation

1650s, noun of action from intimidate; perhaps modeled on French intimidation.



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for intimidate

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for intimidation

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with intimidation