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Syllabification: bru·tal
Pronunciation: /ˈbro͞odl

Definition of brutal in English:


1Savagely violent: a brutal murder
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • She was then murdered in a brutal and savage attack.
  • The tragedy of the savage, brutal murders perpetrated on two young mothers a few years ago still lingers.
1.1Punishingly hard or uncomfortable: the brutal winter wind
More example sentences
  • The Doc has walked the streets of the Second City during brutal winter days and has felt the wind whipping like barbed wire across his face.
  • Australia at the tail-end of the 19th century was a hard and brutal place.
  • The Wind brutal and pure, is there for its own reasons, and human life, any life, counts for close to nought.
1.2Direct and lacking any attempt to disguise unpleasantness: the brutal honesty of his observations
More example sentences
  • Some weblogs, with their lacerating, brutal honesty, transport you to the extremities of human experience.
  • But such brutal accountability is hard to find in the public sphere.
  • His answer was brutal, harsher than he had ever meant.
unsparing, unstinting, unembellished, unvarnished, bald, naked, stark, blunt, direct, straightforward, frank, outspoken, forthright, plain-spoken;
complete, total


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).



Example sentences
  • I still have a scar on my lip and sharp pains in my stomach from being brutally kicked by the older soldiers.
  • It is a brutally honest confession of the limited role North Africa played in the making of a major European artist.
  • It was, of course, a horrific model that was brutally imposed on an unwilling people who did not want it.

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