Meaning of Intimidate


The first thing to do to know the meaning of this term to intimidate us is to know its etymological origin. In this case, it must be established that there are many uncertainties in this regard, although the theory that takes on the most weight is the one that it exposes that derives from Portuguese, specifically, from the word “medorento”. This is a Portuguese adjective that can be translated as “coward” or “fearful”.

However, we must also know that, in turn, it is considered that the word from which it comes derives in turn from the vulgar Latin, from “metorentus”, which also means “fearful”. A word resulting from the sum of two clearly defined components: the noun “metus”, which is synonymous with “fear”, and the suffix “-entus”, which is used to indicate a physical condition or state.

According to DigoPaul, the verb to intimidate refers to provoke fear. The notion is often used as a synonym for threatening or pressing. For example: “I will not be intimidated by the powerful who do not want this country to offer opportunities for everyone”, “For many years, the army was used to intimidate the population”, “The thief tried to intimidate the young woman, but the girl resisted. ”

The scare tactics (ie, the act and the result of bullying) involves exerting pressure or deposit a symbolic meaning in the person receiving the action. In this way, the intimidated subject is expected to act according to the demands of the person in charge of intimidating.

Take the case of a journalist who publishes a note in a newspaper denouncing a corruption case involving a deputy. A few days after the article was published, someone leaves an envelope with a photograph at his house where the journalist’s children appear playing in a plaza. This is an initiative that clearly seeks to intimidate the reporter: with the image they are showing him that his children are being watched or stalked. For the journalist, the message is a warning linked to his complaint and the possible consequences that his children may suffer if he continues to publish such notes.

A gangster, on the other hand, can intimidate someone who owes him money by shooting his car and warning him that if he doesn’t pay his debt, the following shots will be directed directly at him.

Within the scope of the most recent politics the verb to intimidate is used very frequently. And it is that, periodically, situations and measures that certain important figures at that level have used to intimidate rivals, colleagues and even institutions or citizens come to light. Thus, for example, we can highlight actions that can be carried out by a government to “scare” the people and ensure that they do not rise up against other tasks carried out by political parties to prevent other opponents from making their actions known. out of legality. All in order to maintain their situation of power.