Definition of barbarism in English:

barbarism

noun

  • 1Absence of culture and civilization:

    ‘the collapse of civilization and the return to barbarism’
    • ‘… There was much to be said for slavery as a transitional status between barbarism and civilization.’
    • ‘For the great Scottish skeptic, the oscillation between civilization and barbarism was coeval with human history; in ethical and political terms the future was bound to be much like the past.’
    • ‘It is a clash between barbarism and civilization: the outcome and consequences of which will not be limited to the military result in Iraq.’
    • ‘And like past challenges to civilization, such barbarism thrives on Western appeasement and considers enlightened deference as weakness, if not decadence.’
    • ‘It's a war between civilization and barbarism.’
    • ‘As the parties seeking to destroy modern civilization and return to barbarism have put anti-Semitism at the top of their programs, this civilization is apparently a creation of the Jews.’
    • ‘These notions when confronted with Jahangir's own interest in, possession and treatment of elephants give rise to a particular manifestation of the ideologies of barbarism and civilization.’
    • ‘Their act of foundation was ‘the bright strong line between desolate barbarism and busy civilisation’.’
    • ‘There is an insightful section on the Bolsheviks' fear of hooliganism and their tendency to link disorder and barbarism with popular culture.’
    • ‘‘Differences in social ethics only exist between civilization and barbarism, not between capitalism and socialism,’ Feng said.’
    • ‘Fifteen years on, and many, if not most, of the negative trends previously seen as evidence of our civilization's descent into barbarism are in reverse.’
    • ‘In fact, their absence would reduce us to barbarism and utter poverty.’
    • ‘Ideas and culture are what differentiate civilization from barbarism, not the economy.’
    • ‘In the play's opposition of civilization and barbarism, Shakespeare tends to identify with the outsiders - and thus with the charges Voltaire was to level against him.’
    • ‘The Daggian faith was based on the belief that an ancient man called Dagan had received divine insight to organize all mankind into countries and civilizations after centuries of barbarism.’
    • ‘From the official perspective, the issue was simple: barbarism versus civilization.’
    • ‘You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism.’
    • ‘The line between civilization and barbarism is much thinner than Downer implies.’
    • ‘Each viewed his trial as a pivot on a line in history dividing barbarism from civilization.’
    • ‘And yes, sometimes you fight to give people freedom only to discover that the people choose not to choose, or that they choose barbarism to civilization.’
    1. 1.1[count noun] A word or expression which is badly formed according to traditional philological rules, e.g. a word formed from elements of different languages, such as breathalyser (English and Greek) or television (Greek and Latin).
      • ‘Purism, however, also has its barbarisms, such as the quasiclassical plurals octopi and syllabi for octopus and syllabus, competing with octopuses and syllabuses.’
      • ‘It was printed in hard-to-read Gothic font, and is reproduced with all its original barbarisms, spellings and syntax.’
      • ‘For a 15-year-old, it was - to use a modern barbarism - totally incredible.’
      • ‘For instance, Fowler preferred Britishism to Briticism, labelling the latter a barbarism; Burchfield simply comments that Briticism is now the more usual term in scholarly work.’
      wording, diction, phrasing, phraseology, style, vocabulary, terminology, expressions, turns of phrase, parlance, manner of speaking, manner of writing, way of talking, form of expression, mode of expression, usages, locutions, idiolect, choice of words, rhetoric, oratory
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  • 2Extreme cruelty or brutality:

    ‘she called the execution an act of barbarism’
    • ‘I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty.’
    • ‘‘For primary school children to have witnessed such an act of barbarism shows the men of violence have reached new levels of depravity,’ he said.’
    • ‘But history was not done with Mianshan, and in 1940 the mountain was to suffer another act of barbarism.’
    • ‘The barbarism and cruelty of what Preston was describing is almost beyond belief.’
    • ‘It was horrendous, and I don't see anything which could justify such acts of barbarism.’
    • ‘Cruelty was his escape from guilt; barbarism his act of denial.’
    • ‘This means that Australians are fighting with and in support of troops who routinely commit what we rightly regard as atrocities - acts of barbarism which are war crimes under Australian law.’
    • ‘His murder is an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of everything that Danny's kidnappers claim to believe in.’
    • ‘Griffin said, ‘When it comes to the death penalty, I am passionate because we are so overwhelmed by cruelty and barbarism and most people feel the legal system doesn't work.’’
    • ‘The mistake Tim is making is trying to link the various forms of anti-Americanism and the specific act of barbarism which took place in New York City.’
    • ‘This case is the epitome of the brutality, the barbarism, and the cruelty of state regulated nonviolent behavior.’
    • ‘All peace loving Zambians must condemn such acts of barbarism.’
    • ‘The history of mankind is littered with appalling acts of barbarism, cruelty and hatred.’
    • ‘FROM 1933, when Adolf Hitler came to power, till the death of Nazism in 1945, Germans unleashed a reign of terror, cruelty and barbarism hitherto unknown in the history of mankind.’
    • ‘With equal firmness we should demand of the Arab governments and the Arab media their condemnation of barbarism, brutality and terrorism in their own communities.’
    • ‘That the Catholic Church's bureaucracy and some of its clergy have been responsible for and/or condoned acts of barbarism is beyond question.’
    • ‘This thing is worth a huge amount to the city of Edinburgh and it would be an obscenity, an act of barbarism, if there was any threat.’
    • ‘The EU utterly condemns the perpetrators and sponsors of these acts of barbarism.’
    • ‘As a British Muslim I condemn this act of barbarism - it is wholly anti-Islamic.’
    • ‘During medieval times acts of barbarism were accepted.’
    brutality, savagery, savageness, inhumanity, barbarism, barbarousness, brutishness, bloodthirstiness, murderousness, viciousness, ferocity, ferociousness, fierceness
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French barbarisme, via Latin from Greek barbarismos, from barbarizein speak like a foreigner, from barbaros foreign.

Pronunciation

barbarism

/ˈbɑːbərɪz(ə)m/