Definition of barbarism in English:

barbarism

noun

  • 1Absence of culture and civilization.

    ‘the collapse of civilization and the return to barbarism’
    • ‘And like past challenges to civilization, such barbarism thrives on Western appeasement and considers enlightened deference as weakness, if not decadence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Each viewed his trial as a pivot on a line in history dividing barbarism from civilization.’
    • ‘In fact, their absence would reduce us to barbarism and utter poverty.’
    • ‘The line between civilization and barbarism is much thinner than Downer implies.’
    • ‘You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ideas and culture are what differentiate civilization from barbarism, not the economy.’
    • ‘From the official perspective, the issue was simple: barbarism versus civilization.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their act of foundation was ‘the bright strong line between desolate barbarism and busy civilisation’.’
    • ‘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's a war between civilization and barbarism.’
    • ‘There is an insightful section on the Bolsheviks' fear of hooliganism and their tendency to link disorder and barbarism with popular culture.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘‘Differences in social ethics only exist between civilization and barbarism, not between capitalism and socialism,’ Feng said.’
    • ‘… There was much to be said for slavery as a transitional status between barbarism and civilization.’
    1. 1.1 A word or expression that is badly formed according to traditional philological rules, for example a word formed from elements of different languages, such as breathalyzer (English and Greek) or television (Greek and Latin)
      • ‘It was printed in hard-to-read Gothic font, and is reproduced with all its original barbarisms, spellings and syntax.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For a 15-year-old, it was - to use a modern barbarism - totally incredible.’
      • ‘Purism, however, also has its barbarisms, such as the quasiclassical plurals octopi and syllabi for octopus and syllabus, competing with octopuses and syllabuses.’
      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’
    ‘barbarisms from the country's past’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The EU utterly condemns the perpetrators and sponsors of these acts of barbarism.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘As a British Muslim I condemn this act of barbarism - it is wholly anti-Islamic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The history of mankind is littered with appalling acts of barbarism, cruelty and hatred.’
    • ‘During medieval times acts of barbarism were accepted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty.’
    • ‘This case is the epitome of the brutality, the barbarism, and the cruelty of state regulated nonviolent behavior.’
    • ‘That the Catholic Church's bureaucracy and some of its clergy have been responsible for and/or condoned acts of barbarism is beyond question.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His murder is an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of everything that Danny's kidnappers claim to believe in.’
    • ‘It was horrendous, and I don't see anything which could justify such acts of barbarism.’
    • ‘All peace loving Zambians must condemn such acts of barbarism.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    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

/ˈbärbəˌrizəm/