I know that's kind of a big word for some of you on here, so here's a definition from Merriam-Webster.

in·tim·i·date verb \in-ti-m-dt\in·tim·i·dat·edin·tim·i·dat·ing
Definition of INTIMIDATE
transitive verb : to make timid or fearful : frighten; especially : to compel or deter by or as if by threats intimidate a witness>
in·tim·i·dat·ing·ly adverb
in·tim·i·da·tor noun external.jpg

 Examples of INTIMIDATE
He tries to intimidate his opponents.You shouldn't allow his reputation to intimidate you.Origin of INTIMIDATE
Medieval Latin intimidatus, past participle of intimidare, from Latin in- + timidus timid
First Known Use: 1646Related to INTIMIDATE

blackjack, bogart, browbeat, bulldoze, bully, bullyrag, cow, hector, mau-mau, strong-arm, pick on
Synonym Discussion of INTIMIDATE
intimidate, cow, bulldoze, bully, browbeat mean to frighten into submission. intimidate implies inducing fear or a sense of inferiority into another <intimidated by so many other bright freshmen>. cow implies reduction to a state where the spirit is broken or all courage is lost cowed by the odds against making it in show business>. bulldoze implies an intimidating or an overcoming of resistance usually by urgings, demands, or threats <bulldozed the city council into approving the plan>. bully implies intimidation through threats, insults, or aggressive behavior <bullied into giving up their lunch money>. browbeat implies a cowing through arrogant, scornful, or contemptuous treatment <browbeat the witness into a contradiction>.

You see, that may work on the cowardly and the ignorant, but not to someone who has his head on straight.  Let's look at a legal definition.


To say or do something in such a way that a person of ordinary sensibilities would be fearful of bodily harm.

It is not necessary to prove that the alleged victim was actually frightened, and neither is it necessary to show that the behavior of the person was so violent that it was likely to cause terror, panic or hysteria. However, a taking would not be by 'means of intimidation' if any fear on the part of the alleged victim resulted from his or her own timidity rather than some intimidating conduct on the part of the person.

Some would continue until it reaches the point of extortion.  Here's Merriam-Webster.

ex·tor·tion noun \ik-stor-shn\1 : the act or practice of extorting especially money or other property; especially : the offense committed by an official engaging in such practice 2 : something extorted; especially : a gross overcharge

Here's the legal definition.


The use, or the express or implicit threat of the use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to person, reputation, or property as a means to obtain property from someone else with his consent. USC 18

The Hobbs Act defines "extortion" as "the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right." 18 U.S.C. S 1951(b)(2).

Some of us have encountered attempts at intimidation in the past.  Those of us who have worked with various agencies to help combat the problem can easily recognize it.

Sometimes, there are those who are involved in racketeering which is covered under the RICO act.

Here's Webster:

1rack·e·teer noun \ra-k-tir\Definition of RACKETEER : one who obtains money by an illegal enterprise usually involving intimidation external.jpg See racketeer defined for English-language learners
Examples of RACKETEER
racketeer threatened to have his thugs vandalize the shop if the shopkeeper didn't pay him a monthly bribe>First Known Use of RACKETEER 1924
Related to RACKETEER
blackmailer, extortioner, extortionist
Other Legal Termsactionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

Here's a legal definition.


(A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnaping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in narcotic or other dangerous drugs, which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; any act which is indictable under the following [sections] of 18, U.S.C.: 201 (bribery), 224 (sports bribery), 471, 472, and 473 (counterfeiting), 659 (theft from interstate shipment) if act indictable under 659 is felonious, 664 (embezzlement from pension/welfare funds), 891-894 (extortionate credit transactions), 1029 (fraud with access devices), 1084 (transmission of gambling info), 1341 (mail fraud), 1343 (wire fraud), 1344 (financial institution fraud), 1461-1465 (obscene matter), 1503 (obstruction of justice), 1510 (obstruction of criminal investigations), 1511 (obstruction of State or local law enforcement), 1512 (tampering with a witness, victim, or informant), 1513 (retaliating against a witness, victim, or informant), 1951 (interference w/commerce, robbery, or extortion), 1952 (racketeering), 1953 (transport of wagering paraphernalia), 1954 (unlawful welfare payments), 1955 (illegal gambling businesses), 1956 (laundering of monetary instruments), 1957 (monetary transactions derived from specified unlawful activity), 1958 (use of interstate commerce facilities in murder-for-hire), 2251-2252 (sexual exploitation of children), 2312 and 2313 (interstate transport of stolen motor vehicles), 2314 and 2315 (interstate transport of stolen property), 2321 (traffic in motor vehicles or parts), 2341-2346 (traffic in contraband cigarettes), 2421-24 (white slave traffic); any act indictable under 29 U.S.C. 186 (payments/loans to labor orgs) or 501(c) (embezzlement from union funds); fraud connected with a case under title 11, fraud in sale of securities, or felonious dealing in narcotic/other dangerous drugs; or any act indictable under  Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act. 18 USC

Uploaded 06/10/2011
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