Definition of brutal in English:

brutal

adjective

  • 1Savagely violent:

    ‘a brutal murder’
    • ‘The tragedy of the savage, brutal murders perpetrated on two young mothers a few years ago still lingers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But this only made the eventual military response more brutal and violent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That he is a violent and brutal man there can be no doubt, but brutalised and a victim too.’
    • ‘The characters are, with the possible exception of Beatrix, uniformly foul, violent, brutal, cold.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These days, to impress anyone at all, a heist film requires either heaps of brutal, gory violence or a really clever plot.’
    • ‘He is arrogant, uncaring, and to most of the slaves brutal and violent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is a pattern of oppression that has been repeated for centuries, often in the most violent and brutal of ways.’
    • ‘She was then murdered in a brutal and savage attack.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    savage, cruel, bloodthirsty, vicious, ferocious, barbaric, barbarous, wicked, murderous, cold-blooded, hard-hearted, harsh
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    1. 1.1 Unpleasant 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.’
      • ‘Kocher delivers concentrated doses of unadorned reality - not necessarily harsh and brutal but hardly always pretty, either.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Your phrasing in many areas is harsh and even brutal.’
      • ‘It's hard, harsh, cold and brutal, but lovely beyond compare.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The images depicted illustrate a harsh and brutal reality that the country is still coming to terms with.’
      • ‘However, scores of deploying airmen have not had to endure the harsh and brutal conditions awaiting them halfway around the world.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Alternating graceful acoustic songs with brutal hard rock, Neil Young has somehow fashioned a career that has straddled five decades.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She turned, rubbing her head and squinting her eyes against the brutal morning sun.’
      • ‘In general, life was brutal and harsh for the early medieval peasant.’
      • ‘Relations between people are generally harsh, sometimes brutal.’
      • ‘Welcome the change from your peaceful existence to the harsh, brutal reality that is my world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Right now we like to play music that is hard and brutal.’
      • ‘The visuals are indeed noisy, harsh, unforgiving, brutal, lo-fi verging on no-fi.’
    2. 1.2 Direct and without attempting to disguise unpleasantness:
      ‘the brutal honesty of his observations’
      • ‘Frank writes with brutal honesty of his confusion as to why his son joined and his fears for John's safety as a Marine.’
      • ‘I think you are brutally honest and that's something I admire in a person, even when that brutal honesty is aimed at me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The delicate and decorative character of his poetry does not lend itself to direct and brutal statement.’
      • ‘Do it in a harsh, brutal way, in broad daylight with live TV coverage.’
      • ‘But such brutal accountability is hard to find in the public sphere.’
      • ‘Accept the advice in the spirit it is given, which is brutal honesty.’
      • ‘Some weblogs, with their lacerating, brutal honesty, transport you to the extremities of human experience.’
      • ‘His answer was brutal, harsher than he had ever meant.’
      • ‘I'm sorry, I know that these are uncomfortable, even brutal questions, but they must be asked.’
      • ‘Yet the accompanying depiction of Louise's confused emotions towards him are incisive and brutal in their honesty.’
      • ‘And New York, in all its brutal honesty, will continue to be hated by those who envy its forthrightness.’
      • ‘They write about their experiences with humor, wisdom and brutal honesty.’
      • ‘These diarised moments of brutal honesty, twinned with hesitant uncertainty, are typical of Woolf's swings between self-doubt and dogged ambition.’
      • ‘Sometimes brutal honesty is the best briefing any leader can receive.’
      • ‘Joseph loves these hard, pat, brutal chunks of wisdom.’
      • ‘It can be more accurately described as an uncomfortable viewing experience - but that's because it tells a brutal and uncomfortable story.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not my best, I await harsh brutal truths from my bandmates.’
      • ‘The author has shown brutal honesty and hilarious wit in putting her thoughts and experiences into print.’
      unsparing, unstinting, unadorned, unembellished, unvarnished, bald, naked, stark, blunt, direct, straight, straightforward, frank, outspoken, forthright, plain-spoken
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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/