1. Money or some other benefit given to a person in power, especially a public official, in an effort to cause the person to take a particular action.
2. Something offered to induce another to do something: tried to use dessert as a bribe to get the child to cooperate.
v. bribed, brib·ing, bribes
To give, offer, or promise a bribe to.
To give, offer, or promise bribes.
[Middle English, from Old French, piece of bread given as alms.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.