adjective bar·ba·rous \ˈbär-b(ə-)rəs\

: not polite or proper : very rude or offensive

: very cruel and violent

Full Definition of BARBAROUS

a :  uncivilized
b :  lacking culture or refinement :  philistine
:  characterized by the occurrence of barbarisms <barbarous language>
:  mercilessly harsh or cruel <barbarous crimes>
bar·ba·rous·ly adverb
bar·ba·rous·ness noun

Examples of BARBAROUS

  1. <the barbarous treatment of the native peoples of the New World by those bent on conquest at any cost>
  2. <an aunt who abhors barbarous behavior such as eating with your fingers>


Latin barbarus, from Greek barbaros foreign, ignorant
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of BARBAROUS

fierce, ferocious, barbarous, savage, cruel mean showing fury or malignity in looks or actions. fierce applies to humans and animals that inspire terror because of their wild and menacing aspect or fury in attack <fierce warriors>. ferocious implies extreme fierceness and unrestrained violence and brutality <a ferocious dog>. barbarous implies a ferocity or mercilessness regarded as unworthy of civilized people <barbarous treatment of prisoners>. savage implies the absence of inhibitions restraining civilized people filled with rage, lust, or other violent passion <a savage criminal>. cruel implies indifference to suffering and even positive pleasure in inflicting it <the cruel jokes of schoolboys>.
BARBAROUSLY Defined for Kids


adjective bar·ba·rous \ˈbär-bə-rəs, -brəs\

Definition of BARBAROUS for Kids

:  not civilized
:  cruel 2, harsh <barbarous treatment>
:  very offensive <barbarous language>


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