Definition of bruit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 \ ˈbrüt How to pronounce bruit (audio) \ archaic
a : noise, din
b : report, rumor
2 \ ˈbrü-​ē How to pronounce bruit (audio) \ [French, literally, noise] : any of several generally abnormal sounds heard on auscultation


\ ˈbrüt How to pronounce bruit (audio) \
bruited; bruiting; bruits

Definition of bruit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: report, rumor usually used with about word of his imminent dismissal was bruited about

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Did You Know?


Back in the days of Middle English, the Anglo-French noun bruit, meaning "clamor" or "noise," rattled into English. Soon English speakers were also using it to mean "report" or "rumor" (it applied especially to favorable reports). We also began using "bruit" as a verb the way we used (and still occasionally do use) the verb "noise," with the meaning "to spread by rumor or report" (as in "the scandal was quickly noised about"). The English noun "bruit" is now considered archaic, but the verb lives on.

Examples of bruit in a Sentence

Noun a film that captures the thunderous fury of medieval warfare and the bruit of a thousand clashing swords
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This kind of noise, called a bruit, is caused by turbulence in the blood flowing through an artery. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "What Was Causing a Healthy Older Man to Be Nauseated by Food?," 13 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The main downside to the bill identified by the legislative analysts and bruited about by the drug industry is that lower profits would lead to a reduction in R&D spending. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Pelosi finds a way to save billions by cutting drug prices, but Big Pharma pushes back," 18 Oct. 2019 It was bruited about, for example, in 1992, during the George H.W. Bush administration, and again in 2012, when there were hopes that Mitt Romney would win election over Barack Obama. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Incredibly, GOP senators are demanding billions more in tax cuts for the rich," 30 July 2019 All these measures have been bruited about by economists inside and outside the government since 2012, when GDP growth slowed to a crawl even with oil prices still around $100 a barrel. Leon Aron, National Review, "Vladimir Putin’s Wartime Presidency," 16 Feb. 2018 Normalization is a word much bruited about these days to describe the ways in which Americans have acceded to all sorts of indecent and dangerous phenomena since Trump launched his successful campaign for president more than two years ago. James Kirchick, Slate Magazine, "Don’t Give Corbyn a Pass," 22 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bruit.' 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 bruit


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


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bruit


Middle English, from Anglo-French, noise

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

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Cite this Entry

“Bruit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for bruit


\ ˈbrü-ē How to pronounce bruit (audio) \

Medical Definition of bruit

: any of several generally abnormal sounds heard on auscultation an audible bruit produced by an artery

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