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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce intimidate (audio)

Dictionary definition of intimidate

To frighten or make someone feel uneasy or threatened, typically in order to make them do something or not do something.
"The bully tried to intimidate the new student with his aggressive behavior."

Detailed meaning of intimidate

The term is used to describe an action or behavior that is intended to make someone feel scared, nervous, or powerless. This can be done through verbal or nonverbal means such as threats, bullying, or physical aggression. Intimidation can also take place in a more subtle way, for example, by using a person's position of power or authority to make them feel pressured. Intimidation can have serious consequences, both for the person being intimidated and for the person doing the intimidating. It can lead to physical harm, psychological distress, and can even result in criminal charges.

Example sentences containing intimidate

1. The security guard's stern voice intimidated the trespasser into leaving the property.
2. Some people use their size and strength to intimidate others into submission.
3. The manager's tone was meant to intimidate the employee into working harder.
4. A group of teenagers tried to intimidate the elderly woman by surrounding her and shouting insults.
5. The defendant's lawyer tried to intimidate the witness during cross-examination.
6. Fear of rejection can intimidate people from expressing their true feelings.

History and etymology of intimidate

The verb 'intimidate' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'intimidare,' which is a combination of 'in,' meaning 'into,' and 'timidus,' meaning 'fearful' or 'timid.' In Latin, 'intimidare' meant to fill someone with fear or make them timid, often through threats or coercive tactics. Over time, this term transitioned into the English language as 'intimidate,' retaining its core meaning of causing fear or unease in someone, typically with the intention of compelling them to act in a certain way or refrain from doing something. The etymology of 'intimidate' underscores its historical association with the manipulation of fear to influence the actions or decisions of others, making it an apt descriptor for such behavior.

Quiz: Find the meaning of intimidate

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Further usage examples of intimidate

1. The teacher's intimidating presence made the students nervous during the exam.
2. Physical threats are often used to intimidate people into complying with demands.
3. The thought of public speaking can intimidate even the most confident individuals.
4. The gang members tried to intimidate the shopkeeper into giving them free merchandise.
5. Intimidating behavior can have long-lasting effects on a person's mental health.
6. He tried to intimidate his opponent before the big match.
7. The bully's behavior was meant to intimidate his classmates.
8. She refused to be intimidated by his aggressive tactics.
9. The hostile environment was intended to intimidate employees.
10. The aggressive driver tried to intimidate others on the road.
11. The threatening letter was meant to intimidate the recipient.
12. The gang members attempted to intimidate witnesses.
13. He didn't let the hostile crowd intimidate him.
14. The intimidating boss made the employees uneasy.
15. The loud noise was used to intimidate the intruder.
16. The defendant's menacing stare failed to intimidate the witness.
17. She wouldn't let their criticism intimidate her.
18. The suspect tried to intimidate the detective during questioning.
19. The aggressive marketing tactics were meant to intimidate competitors.
20. The intimidating presence of the security guards deterred troublemakers.
21. She used her knowledge to intimidate her opponents in the debate.
22. The intimidating glare from the teacher silenced the class.
23. He didn't allow the intimidating atmosphere to affect his performance.
24. The imposing building was meant to intimidate visitors.
25. The strong-willed activists wouldn't let threats intimidate them.



frighten, reassure, comfort, encourage


Behavior and Conduct, Conflict and Disagreement, Authority and Order, Fear and Ferocity, Dominance and Supremacy, Hostility and Opposition

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