Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR BULLY

"The professor made a bully speech," said more than one after the exercises were over.

I have seen enough of you to know that you are a bully and coward.

It was now that Globson, Bully no more, sought me out in the playground.

And so it is with me, bully boy, saving that my doxy cometh not.

Straight up to the bully he walked and looked him firmly in the eye.

"Bully for you," he finally said, looking all about as if to size up the surroundings.

The bully is not always, or, in fact, often the leader in harness.

He had had experience in puppy fights and was already something of a bully.

Well, I guess when he starts the bully is greased lightning.

I tried to bully him, and stamped my foot at him, and—and called him a drunken brute.

WORD ORIGIN

1530s, originally "sweetheart," applied to either sex, from Dutch boel "lover; brother," probably a diminutive of Middle Dutch broeder "brother" (cf. Middle High German buole "brother," source of German Buhle "lover;" see brother (n.)).

Meaning deteriorated 17c. through "fine fellow" and "blusterer" to "harasser of the weak" (1680s, from bully-ruffian, 1650s). Perhaps this was by influence of bull (n.1), but a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" may be in "protector of a prostitute," which was one sense of bully (though not specifically attested until 1706). The expression meaning "worthy, jolly, admirable" (especially in 1864 U.S. slang bully for you!) is first attested 1680s, and preserves an earlier, positive sense of the word.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR BULLY

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.