You might still have terrifying dreams about the bully who harassed you on the playground in second grade. A bully is someone who intimidates people, usually those who are weaker or smaller.
The classic example of a bully is a mean kid in a schoolyard who hassles or beats up younger students. While a child or a teenager can be a bully, so is anyone who uses power or strength to scare or harm other people. The word bully has gone through a mysterious evolution, from the 1530s when it meant "sweetheart," through the 17th century's meanings of "fine fellow," then "blusterer," and finally "harasser of the weak."
Primary Meanings of bully
discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
a cruel and brutal fellow
v discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
v be bossy towards
n a cruel and brutal fellow
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a swaggering tough; usually one acting as an agent of a political faction
a bully employed as a thug or bodyguard
a young person who belongs to a British or American group that shave their heads and gather at rock concerts or engage in white supremacist demonstrations
plug-ugly, tough guy
someone who bullies weaker people
Ted, Teddy boy
a tough youth of 1950's and 1960's wearing Edwardian style clothes