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cow (verb) threaten; intimidate.
When you cow someone you frighten them into doing what you want them to do. You make them obey you by threatening them. You use even violence and threats to make others do your wish when you cow someone. When someone is not cowed by you, they do not care for your threats. They are not afraid of you, so they do not obey you, if they are not cowed.
- Susan went ahead with her plans and married Phil, much against her father's will, and not at all cowed by his threats that he would cut her off from his property, and that he would use even violence against them.
- Miriam, though smart and brilliant at her studies, is easily cowed by her classmates, and as a result is so afraid of them that she does whatever they want her to do.