Definition of brutalize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbruːt(ə)lʌɪz/
(also brutalise)


[with object]
1Make (someone) cruel, violent, or insensitive to the pain of others by repeated exposure to violence: he had been brutalized in prison and become cynical (as adjective brutalizing) the brutalizing effects of warfare
More example sentences
  • Penologists and medical experts agree that the process of carrying out a verdict of death is often so degrading and brutalizing to the human spirit as to constitute psychological torture.
  • I think violence really marginalizes and brutalizes women.
  • War has brutalized our families in the same way it haunted and destroyed our homes and streets.
desensitize, dehumanize, harden, toughen, case-harden, inure, make unfeeling, make callous, degrade
1.1Treat (someone) in a savage and violent way: they brutalize and torture persons in their custody
More example sentences
  • The military has been put on notice that if it rides roughshod over people in the provinces, killing indiscriminately plus torturing and brutalizing innocent civilians, it can expect to face the consequences.
  • Slavery was full of examples of those in charge-the planter, overseer, or driver-doing violence to and brutalizing someone weaker or more vulnerable.
  • In different forms, they could be pictures of the Dutch brutalizing the Indonesians; the French brutalizing the Algerians; the Belgians brutalizing the people of the Congo.
attack, abuse, assault, beat, thrash, thump, pummel, pound, batter



Pronunciation: /bruːt(ə)lʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • During the protest I witnessed police brutalization of homeless persons, especially around panhandling and sleeping outside.
  • Nine children and three women told similar stories of enslavement and brutalization, including rape.
  • At the same time, we continued to allow slavery, the oppression of women, the brutalization of Native Americans, etc.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bru¦tal|ize

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