"to bully" as "to put pressure on"

loviii

Senior Member
russian
Good day!

Definitions of "to bully" from ldoceonline.com:

First one is not interested to me:
to bully — to threaten to hurt someone or frighten them, especially someone smaller or weaker

The second is one I want to talk about:
to bully — to put pressure on someone in order to make them do what you want:
Don’t let them bully you into working on Saturdays.

So I have the example with "to bully someone into doing something". Now I want to look into "to bully someone" and "to bully someone into something".

By the second definition, I infer:

1) to bully someone — to put pressure on someone
So, implying this, can I say:
(1) All this situation strongly bullies him. ( = All this situation puts strong pressure on him.)

2) to bully someone into something — to put pressure on someone in order to make them do something:
So, implying this, can I say:
(2) He bullied his children into a dinner. ( = He forced his children to make a dinner.)

Are (1) & (2) correct and why?

Thanks!
 
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  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To bully/pressure someone into doing something they don’t want to is a different usage from bullying in general. But it means that one or more people do the bullying. A thing can’t bully someone. And you can’t bully someone into something they DO want to do, such as have dinner.

    All this situation strongly bullies him. :cross:
    He bullied his children into a dinner. :cross:

    EDIT:
    And if it’s a thing (as opposed to an action, as in the more common usage) that someone is bullied into, that thing is likely to be something abstract. For example:

    He was bullied into submission / compliance / silence / marriage​
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To be honest, I don't see a huge amount of difference between the two definitions. In both cases someone is using pressure to affect the behavior or life of someone with less power than the bullier has. It's the same idea, just somewhat different circumstances, with the second one being milder and less physical.

    If person 1 has no power over person 2 then person 2 can't be bullied into doing anything, in either case.

    If your boss bullies you into doing something at work that's because he has some kind of power over you. You are afraid not to do what he wants because of how it might affect your job. It might not be a reasonable request, but you do it anyway.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's the same idea, just somewhat different circumstances, with the second one being milder and less physical.
    One is more general than the other, but it’s not a case of one being milder than the other. Both can involve brutality/cruelty. Sometimes bullying consists of relentless nastiness. Sometimes it goes so far as to involve coercion to do something humiliating and/or dangerous.
     
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