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bul·ly 1

n. pl. bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
3. A pimp.
4. Archaic A fine person.
5. Archaic A sweetheart.
v. bul·lied, bul·ly·ing, bul·lies
1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner. See Synonyms at intimidate.
2. To make (one's way) aggressively.
1. To behave like a bully.
2. To force one's way aggressively or by intimidation: "They bully into line at the gas pump" (Martin Gottfried).
Excellent; splendid: did a bully job of persuading the members.
Used to express approval: Bully for you!

[Possibly from Middle Dutch boele, sweetheart, probably alteration of broeder, brother; see bhrāter- in Indo-European roots.]

bul·ly 2

Canned or pickled beef. Also called bully beef.

[Perhaps French bouilli, boiled meat, label on canned beef, from past participle of bouillir, to boil, from Old French boilir; see boil1.]
References in classic literature ?
She said, in good English, and in a deeply offended tone, that she had paid her passage and was not going to be bullied out of her "rights" by ill-bred foreigners, even if she was alone and unprotected.
He bullied and punished me; not two or three times in the week, nor once or twice in the day, but continually: every nerve I had feared him, and every morsel of flesh in my bones shrank when he came near.
I could not support being what is called Bullied, sir.
As it turned out, however, that he only wanted me for a dramatic lay-figure, to be contradicted and embraced and wept over and bullied and clutched and stabbed and knocked about in a variety of ways, I soon declined that course of instruction; though not until Mr.
He was a hero to his valet, who bullied him, and a terror to most of his relations, whom he bullied in turn.
The very cattle that would trample a white man to death allow themselves to be banged and bullied and shouted at by children that hardly come up to their noses.
But just as he was going to strike, the cetacean stole away with a rapidity that could not be estimated at less than thirty miles an hour, and even during our maximum of speed, it bullied the frigate, going round and round it.
Sixteen years being bullied by nurses and schoolmasters at their own sweet will; five in London grinding hard at medicine, bad food, shabby lodgings, shabby clothes, shabby vice, a blunder,-- I didn't know any better,--and hustled off to this beastly island.
I am terribly sorry for him, and said what I could to give him comfort, for he is a man who has been much bullied and misled.
Two hundred or two thousand, it’s all the same thing,” cried Benjamin, with an air which manifested that he was not easily to be bullied out of his opinion, on a subject like the present.
Would you have me suffer myself to be bullied all day by a varmint?
that helpless women are bullied into marrying men they hate?