To strong-arm someone is to force them to do something. When you strong-arm your sister into getting out of your bedroom, you physically push her out the door.

Bullies strong-arm smaller kids into handing over their lunch money, and powerful countries strong-arm weaker ones into cooperating with treaties and alliances. In the second example, a figurative kind of strong-arming is going on; there is no physical action, just the implied threat of negative consequences. You can also use this word as an adjective: "Your strong-arm tactics don't scare me!"

Definitions of strong-arm
  1. verb
    use physical force against
    “They strong-armed me when I left the restaurant”
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    type of:
    beat, beat up, work over
    give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression
  2. verb
    handle roughly
    “He was strong-armed by the policemen”
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    type of:
    do by, handle, treat
    interact in a certain way
  3. verb
    be bossy towards
    synonyms: ballyrag, boss around, browbeat, bully, bullyrag, hector, push around
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    domineer, tyrannise, tyrannize
    rule or exercise power over (somebody) in a cruel and autocratic manner
    type of:
    make timid or fearful
  4. adjective
    impelled by physical force especially against resistance
    strong-arm tactics”
    synonyms: forcible, physical
    characterized by or full of force or strength (often but not necessarily physical)
Word Family
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