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noun | BULL-ee-PULL-pit
What It Means
Bully pulpit refers to an important public position that allows a person to express beliefs and opinions to many people.
// She uses her position as a famous actress as a bully pulpit to advocate for human rights.
Examples of BULLY PULPIT
“If you are a politician, you can respond to public protesters in a variety of ways. You can avoid getting too close to them. You can ignore them. You can use your bully pulpit to address their concerns from a position of strength. What you probably should not do is physically tussle with them or taunt them with childish facial gestures.” — Yair Rosenberg, The Atlantic, 8 June 2023
Did You Know?
Bully pulpit comes from the 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt, who observed that his time in office at the White House was a bully pulpit when he said, “I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit!” For Roosevelt, bully was an adjective meaning “excellent” or “first-rate”—not today’s familiar noun bully referring to an abusive meanie. Roosevelt understood the modern presidency’s power of persuasion and recognised that it gave the incumbent the opportunity to exhort, instruct, or inspire. He took full advantage of his bully pulpit, speaking out about the danger of monopolies, the nation’s growing role as a world power, and other issues important to him. Since the 1960s, bully pulpit has been used as a term for a public position—especially a political office—that provides one with the opportunity to widely share one’s views.
Merriam Webster Dictionary