Definition of barbarism in English:

barbarism

Syllabification: bar·ba·rism
Pronunciation: /ˈbärbəˌrizəm
 
/

noun

  • 1Absence of culture and civilization: the collapse of civilization and the return to barbarism
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    • 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.
    • There is an insightful section on the Bolsheviks' fear of hooliganism and their tendency to link disorder and barbarism with popular culture.
    • And like past challenges to civilization, such barbarism thrives on Western appeasement and considers enlightened deference as weakness, if not decadence.
  • 1.1A 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).
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    • Purism, however, also has its barbarisms, such as the quasiclassical plurals octopi and syllabi for octopus and syllabus, competing with octopuses and syllabuses.
    • 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.
    • It was printed in hard-to-read Gothic font, and is reproduced with all its original barbarisms, spellings and syntax.
  • 2Extreme cruelty or brutality: she called the execution an act of barbarism barbarisms from the country’s past
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    • The history of mankind is littered with appalling acts of barbarism, cruelty and hatred.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French barbarisme, via Latin from Greek barbarismos, from barbarizein 'speak like a foreigner', from barbaros 'foreign'.

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