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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.]
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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.