intimidate Definition

  • 1frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants
  • 2make timid or fearful

Using intimidate: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "intimidate" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He tries to intimidate his opponents.

  • Example

    The boss intimidated his employees into working overtime.

  • Example

    She refused to be intimidated by their threats.

  • Example

    The large dog intimidated the smaller ones.

intimidate Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for intimidate

Antonyms for intimidate

Idioms Using intimidate

  • put the frighteners on someone

    to intimidate or scare someone


    He put the frighteners on his opponent with his aggressive behavior.

  • to frighten someone very badly


    The horror movie scared the living daylights out of me.

  • make someone's blood run cold

    to cause someone to feel extreme fear or dread


    The thought of being alone in the dark made her blood run cold.

Phrases with intimidate

  • to force someone to do something by making them feel afraid


    He tried to intimidate her into signing the contract.

  • to obtain something from someone by making them feel afraid


    The thief intimidated the old lady out of her purse.

  • to use something as a means of frightening or threatening someone


    The gangsters intimidated him with their weapons.

Origins of intimidate

from Medieval Latin 'intimidare', from Latin 'in-' (into) + 'timidus' (fearful)


Summary: intimidate in Brief

To 'intimidate' [ɪnˈtɪmɪdeɪt] is to frighten or overawe someone, often to make them do what one wants. It can also mean to make someone timid or fearful. Examples include 'He tries to intimidate his opponents.' and 'The large dog intimidated the smaller ones.' Phrases like 'intimidate into' and 'intimidate out of' describe using fear to force or obtain something, while idioms like 'put the frighteners on someone' and 'scare the living daylights out of someone' denote extreme intimidation.

How do native speakers use this expression?