Definition of brusque
1 : markedly short and abrupt a brusque reply
2 : blunt in manner or speech often to the point of ungracious harshness was brusque with the customers
brusque was our Word of the Day on 08/02/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of brusque in a sentence
She asked for a cup of coffee and received a brusque reply: “We don't have any.”
The teacher was brusque and impatient.
Did You Know?
We borrowed "brusque" from French in the 1600s. The French, in turn, had borrowed it from Italian, where it was spelled "brusco" and meant "tart." And the Italian term came from "bruscus," the Medieval Latin name for butcher's-broom, a shrub whose bristly leaf-like twigs have long been used for making brooms. English speakers initially used "brusque" to refer to a tartness in wine, but the word soon came to denote a harsh and stiff manner - which is just what you might expect of a word bristling with associations to stiff, scratchy brooms.
Origin and Etymology of brusque
French brusque, from Italian brusco, from Medieval Latin bruscus butcher's-broom (plant with bristly twigs)
First Known Use: circa 1639
Synonym Discussion of brusque
BRUSQUE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of brusque for English Language Learners
: talking or behaving in a very direct, brief, and unfriendly way
BRUSQUE Defined for Kids
Definition of brusque for Students
: so abrupt and frank in manner or speech as to be impolite a brusque doctor a brusque reply
Seen and Heard
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