\ ˈbrəsk How to pronounce brusque (audio) \
variants: or less commonly brusk

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

Other Words from brusque

brusquely adverb
brusqueness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for brusque

bluff, blunt, brusque, curt, crusty, gruff mean abrupt and unceremonious in speech and manner. bluff connotes good-natured outspokenness and unconventionality. a bluff manner blunt suggests directness of expression in disregard of others' feelings. a blunt appraisal brusque applies to a sharpness or ungraciousness. a brusque response curt implies disconcerting shortness or rude conciseness. a curt command crusty suggests a harsh or surly manner sometimes concealing an inner kindliness. a crusty exterior gruff suggests a hoarse or husky speech which may imply bad temper but more often implies embarrassment or shyness. puts on a gruff pose

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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The brusque remark during the 2019 operation was not out of the ordinary for Kiran, Keller says. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, 7 May 2022 Sara daren’t tell her protective but brusque mother (Carmen Machi, superb) about the bullying, while the girls’ poolside assault on her is witnessed only by a hulking, taciturn stranger (Richard Holmes) taking a dip at the same time. Guy Lodge, Variety, 25 Jan. 2022 Alternately warm and imperious, charming and brusque, politically shrewd and prideful, his portrait of Mandela is one of the richest and most complex performances of his career. Mark Harris,, 7 Jan. 2022 Pitter is particularly irresistible as the brusque Frankie. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2022 One study found that patients with irritable bowel syndrome treated by an empathetic versus a brusque researcher had symptom relief as high as that associated with the most powerful drugs. Jessica Dulong, CNN, 22 Mar. 2022 Her love poems are brusque, her poems about children icy and odd. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 8 Jan. 2022 Among the sudden percussion flurries, brick-wall bass and combustible drops, there’s a gracefulness to this brusque groove, beckoning all into the void. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 11 Mar. 2022 The pleasure is hearing these brusque and no doubt correct observations come out of a guy nine feet tall and eight feet wide, who also knows 37 ways to kill someone with a rubber band. James Lileks, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of brusque

circa 1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brusque

French brusque, from Italian brusco, from Medieval Latin bruscus butcher's-broom (plant with bristly twigs)

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The first known use of brusque was circa 1639

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brusque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for brusque


\ ˈbrəsk How to pronounce brusque (audio) \

Kids Definition of brusque

: so abrupt and frank in manner or speech as to be impolite a brusque doctor a brusque reply

Other Words from brusque

brusquely adjective
brusqueness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on brusque

Nglish: Translation of brusque for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brusque for Arabic Speakers


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