barbarism

noun
bar·​ba·​rism | \ ˈbär-bə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce barbarism (audio) \

Definition of barbarism

1a : a barbarian or barbarous social or intellectual condition : backwardness
b : the practice or display of barbarian acts, attitudes, or ideas
2 : an idea, act, or expression that in form or use offends against contemporary standards of good taste or acceptability

Examples of barbarism in a Sentence

The barbarism of his dictatorship cannot be ignored. Such barbarisms cannot be tolerated.

Recent Examples on the Web

The government was trying to send a warning, but the barbarism of the public execution appalled even the most jaded tabloids. CBS News, ""The Last Pirate of New York": One of the most sensational murder hunts in American history," 29 June 2019 Why would a state record its barbarism, even if its rulers never imagined that the photographs would be disseminated? Susie Linfield, The New York Review of Books, "Syria’s Torture Photos: Witness to Atrocity," 9 Feb. 2019 What seems inarguable, however, is the barbarism of a policy that for nearly four decades restricted Chinese families from having more than one child. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘One Child Nation’ is a powerful, painful look at impact of China’s one-child policy," 7 Aug. 2019 What seems inarguable, however, is the barbarism of a policy that for nearly four decades restricted Chinese families from having more than one child. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘One Child Nation’ is a powerful, painful look at impact of China’s policy," 15 Aug. 2019 The magnitude of her loss, at this moment in our descent into barbarism, is incalculable. Philip Kennicott, chicagotribune.com, "Obituaries are the only redemptive news anymore," 8 Aug. 2019 The shooting of two Nicaraguan university students in Managua’s Church of the Divine Mercy last week was a stunning act of barbarism even by the standards of strongman Daniel Ortega. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Ortega’s Reign of Terror," 20 July 2018 Many outsiders view the killing of a marine mammal as an act of barbarism, and Arctic communities don’t take kindly to being told that their only source of local food is immoral and off-limits. Eva Holland, Smithsonian, "Where the Doomed, Beloved Polar Bear Is Still a Dangerous Predator," 16 May 2018 In the capital, Jakarta, the Indonesian Church Association strongly condemned this act of barbarism. Kate Leaver, Teen Vogue, "At Least 13 People Are Dead After a Family of 6 Allegedly Bombed 3 Churches in Indonesia," 14 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barbarism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barbarism

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

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The first known use of barbarism was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for barbarism

barbarism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of barbarism

: cruel and violent behavior
: very rude behavior

More from Merriam-Webster on barbarism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with barbarism

Britannica English: Translation of barbarism for Arabic Speakers

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