Definition of brutalism in English:



  • 1mass noun Cruelty and savageness.

    ‘exchanging one kind of social and economic brutalism for another is not what they had in mind’
    • ‘Sadly throughout the history we have a tendency to be cruel to one another and the easiest way to rule is to exchange one brutalism for another kind.’
    • ‘It is possible in Bacon for such tenderness to exist alongside violence and brutalism.’
    • ‘The forthcoming civil disobedience will be non-violent, organisers stress, but the whiff of brutalism conjures up a world where no such caveat is feasible.’
    • ‘As an antidote to James Bond's far-fetched, murderous exotica it was perfect - a world of grimy brutalism, mundane bureaucracy and the vividly realistic, morally-empty, quotidian horror of Cold War espionage.’
    • ‘Recent research at St Andrews University, revisited the Stanford work and disproved the idea of automatic brutalism.’
    • ‘The Empire has gone and imperialism is now regarded as a crime against humanity, a system based on brutalism and greed responsible for much of the mess of the modern world.’
    • ‘The officers (some filmed in uniform) made no attempts to rationalise their behaviour and were proud of their systematic brutalism towards what they regarded as uppity natives.’
    • ‘One moment of South American impudence was followed by a piece of South American brutalism.’
    • ‘It is preferred to say that after communism no one wanted to exchange one brutalism with another one.’
    • ‘As such, the din becomes more than one-faceted exercise in brutalism and enters into the realm of methodical examination, a frenzied pursuit of the last squealing gasps left undetected deep within the saxophone's brass guts.’
    • ‘But for political opportunists in continental Europe, the quickest way to dismiss any talk of market freedom or reduction in the size of government is to ooze concern about American economic brutalism.’
    • ‘There was never a chance that Sunday's final would degenerate into that sort of brutalism.’
    • ‘The language, the violence, the unapologetic maleness of gangland bonding mixes the excesses of laddish culture with an affectionate tribute to Kray Brothers brutalism.’
    • ‘It's the dark shadow of the fascism of modernist brutalism, the truth incarnate that every Utopia is unachievable.’
    • ‘But human beings, let alone elephants, find brutalism hard to love.’
    • ‘To talk about murder, death, suffering in purely technical, medical or scientific terms already constitutes a brutalism of its own, a tone so neutral as to be itself a kind of cold violence.’
    • ‘Remember, communism is evil, but do not exchange one brutalism with another’
    • ‘Exchanging one brutalism for another is not the answer. ‘Listen, you know, the odds are with those who are conscious and who do not feel there are powers, forces at work that they cannot shape.’’
    wickedness, evilness, vileness, baseness, blackness, depravity
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  • 2A stark style of functionalist architecture, especially of the 1950s and 1960s, characterized by the use of steel and concrete in massive blocks.

    ‘the long, low, concrete-faced buildings were remarkable solely for their brutalism’
    • ‘They are hideous examples of concrete brutalism, dilapidated and badly-run and best demolished.’
    • ‘There's a hard-edged brutalism in its new and rebuilt architecture, design and style; it's a city of the young - vibrant and raw.’
    • ‘This bleak worldview was reflected in art, such as the Vienna Secessionists, divorced from tradition, and in the Bauhaus architecture ‘starting from zero’ which begot brutalism.’
    • ‘Various departments inhabit a ramshackle collection of buildings up and down Holloway Road, ranging through arts and crafts, neo-Georgian, brutalism and postmodernist junk.’
    • ‘Its architecture was very much of its time; it was not seductive or inviting, but its brutalism was not so fierce as to prevent it becoming an object of local affection.’