Cow implies bringing out an abject state of timorousness and often demoralization: a dog that was cowed by abuse.
To bully is to intimidate through blustering, domineering, or threatening behavior: workers who were bullied into accepting a poor contract.
"Use of force is justified when a person reasonably believes that it is necessary for the defense of oneself or another against the immediate use of unlawful force." Intimidation may be employed consciously or unconsciously, and a percentage of people who employ it consciously may do so as the result of selfishly rationalized notions of its appropriation, utility or self-empowerment.
Intimidation related to prejudice and discrimination may include conduct "which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety...because of a belief or perception regarding such person's race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct." Intimidation may be manifested in such manner as physical contacts, glowering countenance, emotional manipulation, verbal abuse, making someone feel lower than you, purposeful embarrassment and/or actual physical assault.
Alternatively, intimidation may result from the type of society in which individuals are socialized, as human beings are generally reluctant to engage in confrontation or threaten violence.Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Being Assertive Overcoming the Intimidation Building Your Confidence Community Q&A Speaking to someone who intimidates you can be scary.Although it is seen as a negative quality in many interpersonal interactions, it can be helpful in sports, business, and other competitive environments.Learning to be intimidating can also help you avoid being intimidated by others.