Definition of brutal in English:

brutal

adjective

  • 1Savagely violent.

    ‘a brutal murder’
    • ‘This is a pattern of oppression that has been repeated for centuries, often in the most violent and brutal of ways.’
    • ‘The characters are, with the possible exception of Beatrix, uniformly foul, violent, brutal, cold.’
    • ‘The tragedy of the savage, brutal murders perpetrated on two young mothers a few years ago still lingers.’
    • ‘Beneath that apparently jokey exterior there was a very nasty, brutal violent person who did tremendous damage to Uganda.’
    • ‘A brutal, violent and uncompromising story with a controversial ending you'll never forget.’
    • ‘These days, to impress anyone at all, a heist film requires either heaps of brutal, gory violence or a really clever plot.’
    • ‘Also note the subtle arcs that the movie takes, going from lies to truth, from betrayal to love, and from safety and artifice to brutal, bloody violence.’
    • ‘It should be remembered that the majority of people sent to the colony as convicts were truly violent, brutal and evil, and all the vices of Europe came to be concentrated in the convict districts.’
    • ‘Hockey at the professional level is fast and rough and often brutal and violent.’
    • ‘This, of course, completely ignores both the fact that a brutal violent dictatorship has been overthrown, and that a significant regional threat to stability has been removed.’
    • ‘Where the government are getting it wrong is that they seem unable to differentiate between the mild irritant of inebriated and loud youth and the frightening increase in violent and brutal crime.’
    • ‘He is arrogant, uncaring, and to most of the slaves brutal and violent.’
    • ‘Back to serial killers, who having once committed their evil act, are then driven by an insatiable lust for more, each act more violent and brutal than the last.’
    • ‘Many of these people are violent brutal people and those who believe they should all be released into the community really have their heads in a cloud.’
    • ‘But this only made the eventual military response more brutal and violent.’
    • ‘She was then murdered in a brutal and savage attack.’
    • ‘That he is a violent and brutal man there can be no doubt, but brutalised and a victim too.’
    • ‘The other city in the story is a scene of a violent and brutal revolution that wreaks havoc on the lives of the book's main characters.’
    • ‘It was hard to imagine that he was capable of committing what we soon were to discover from some shocking photographs had been a brutal and bloody murder.’
    • ‘The films show the aftermath, the impact and the consequences of these brutal and violent crimes - focussing on the bereaved families and the surviving victims.’
    savage, cruel, bloodthirsty, vicious, ferocious, barbaric, barbarous, wicked, murderous, cold-blooded, hard-hearted, harsh
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Unpleasant or harsh.
      ‘the brutal morning light’
      • ‘Communist realist art is often brutal and inhuman, but it can also display a touching faith in human nature and perfectability, as I think this poster indicates.’
      • ‘The visuals are indeed noisy, harsh, unforgiving, brutal, lo-fi verging on no-fi.’
      • ‘Because it is just another bit of London pavement, albeit one that shows one of the many scars of this strange, brutal, callous, extraordinary city.’
      • ‘But local sanctions could also be harsh and were especially brutal in punishing the ‘sexual misconduct’ blamed on women.’
      • ‘Your phrasing in many areas is harsh and even brutal.’
      • ‘Welcome the change from your peaceful existence to the harsh, brutal reality that is my world.’
      • ‘Right now we like to play music that is hard and brutal.’
      • ‘In general, life was brutal and harsh for the early medieval peasant.’
      • ‘It becomes nothing more than yet another idealisation of a brutal, unpleasant Truth.’
      • ‘The track is cut into the valley side, there were tin mine remnants, lime kilns, circular sheepfolds - old stuff in the harsh almost brutal landscape.’
      • ‘It's hard, harsh, cold and brutal, but lovely beyond compare.’
      • ‘However, scores of deploying airmen have not had to endure the harsh and brutal conditions awaiting them halfway around the world.’
      • ‘Relations between people are generally harsh, sometimes brutal.’
      • ‘Alternating graceful acoustic songs with brutal hard rock, Neil Young has somehow fashioned a career that has straddled five decades.’
      • ‘Why, I wonder, don't these novels ever depict a brave new world that's learned its lesson, one that's loving and gentle instead of harsh and brutal?’
      • ‘In this way, the badger is emblematic of the poet's struggle with self and with his artistic creativity, as well as with the ordered, yet harsh and brutal world of reality.’
      • ‘Kocher delivers concentrated doses of unadorned reality - not necessarily harsh and brutal but hardly always pretty, either.’
      • ‘The images depicted illustrate a harsh and brutal reality that the country is still coming to terms with.’
      • ‘She turned, rubbing her head and squinting her eyes against the brutal morning sun.’
      • ‘For most of us, the holiday period is a slow process of shrugging off its coils - only to have them tighten up again on that brutal Monday morning in early January.’
    2. 1.2Direct and without attempting to disguise unpleasantness.
      ‘the brutal honesty of his observations’
      • ‘And New York, in all its brutal honesty, will continue to be hated by those who envy its forthrightness.’
      • ‘It can be more accurately described as an uncomfortable viewing experience - but that's because it tells a brutal and uncomfortable story.’
      • ‘I think you are brutally honest and that's something I admire in a person, even when that brutal honesty is aimed at me.’
      • ‘His answer was brutal, harsher than he had ever meant.’
      • ‘Accept the advice in the spirit it is given, which is brutal honesty.’
      • ‘The author has shown brutal honesty and hilarious wit in putting her thoughts and experiences into print.’
      • ‘These diarised moments of brutal honesty, twinned with hesitant uncertainty, are typical of Woolf's swings between self-doubt and dogged ambition.’
      • ‘Not my best, I await harsh brutal truths from my bandmates.’
      • ‘The delicate and decorative character of his poetry does not lend itself to direct and brutal statement.’
      • ‘Frank writes with brutal honesty of his confusion as to why his son joined and his fears for John's safety as a Marine.’
      • ‘As a result, the book is often casually poignant, its matter-of-fact style laying moments of absolute courage out for the reader with brutal honesty.’
      • ‘Some weblogs, with their lacerating, brutal honesty, transport you to the extremities of human experience.’
      • ‘Joseph loves these hard, pat, brutal chunks of wisdom.’
      • ‘The Speaker's job is to interview people who knew the deceased and to try and make that person live one last moment in the community by recounting aspects of that life with a brutal honesty.’
      • ‘They write about their experiences with humor, wisdom and brutal honesty.’
      • ‘But such brutal accountability is hard to find in the public sphere.’
      • ‘Sometimes brutal honesty is the best briefing any leader can receive.’
      • ‘Do it in a harsh, brutal way, in broad daylight with live TV coverage.’
      • ‘Yet the accompanying depiction of Louise's confused emotions towards him are incisive and brutal in their honesty.’
      • ‘I'm sorry, I know that these are uncomfortable, even brutal questions, but they must be asked.’

Origin

Late 15th century (in the sense ‘relating to the lower animals’): from Old French, or from medieval Latin brutalis, from brutus dull, stupid (see brute).

Pronunciation:

brutal

/ˈbruːt(ə)l/