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barbarous Line breaks: bar|bar¦ous
Pronunciation: /ˈbɑːb(ə)rəs/

Definition of barbarous in English:


1Extremely brutal: many early child-rearing practices were barbarous by modern standards
More example sentences
  • Yes it is brutal, savage and barbarous - but I have so much respect for the bravery of heavyweight boxers.
  • Before Hitler's atrocities exposed the barbarous extremes of social engineering, eugenic views were regarded as radical visions of social reform.
  • It might be harder still for some of us who have known people of influence and respect, who participated in policies which we regard today as outdated, barbarous, cruel and racist.
2Primitive and uncivilized: a remote and barbarous country
More example sentences
  • But was it fair to call Africa barbarous and uncivilized, and to say that the slave traders were doing no harm by removing people from that continent?
  • Call me barbarous, call me ignorant, but at least I won't have this disturbing feeling that I'm helping someone make piles of money off whatever terrible event is unfolding at the moment.
  • Now suppose the Professor found the use of shells to be primitive and irrational - ‘a barbarous relic!’
2.1(Of language) coarse and unrefined: avoiding barbarous sentences or ambiguities
More example sentences
  • I don't think it needs to be described in that barbarous language, which has become infected by that awful poltroon, Foucault.
  • Lithuanian was considered to be a barbarous language, unworthy of religious use, so Polish was used for all official religious business.
  • Full of zesty barbarous language and wordplay, it reminds me of why Wilde is so revered.


Late Middle English (in sense 2): via Latin from Greek barbaros 'foreign' + -ous.



Pronunciation: /ˈbɑːb(ə)rəsli/
Example sentences
  • It is also an enormous affront to the memory of the 3,000 men and women murdered so barbarously on 11 September 2001.
  • Moreover, the September 11 attacks vividly showed what many have warned of for some time: terrorism's reach is broad, its resources deep and its intentions barbarously lethal.
  • As Ellis describes it: ‘‘Homosexual’ is a barbarously hybrid word.’


Pronunciation: /ˈbɑːb(ə)rəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • The outcry against such autocratic barbarousness became nearly universal.
  • Babits was a classicist: the legacy of Greece and Rome meant more to him than what he felt was the barbarousness of the Old Testament.
  • No less sincerely did they consider the Soviet regime to be a product of the backwardness and barbarousness of Russian conditions.

Words that rhyme with barbarous

tuberous • slumberous

Definition of barbarous in:

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Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive