\ 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

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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

But his mannerisms and his brusque tone seem to be a riff on a blustery Fox News type like Bill O’Reilly or Jeanine Pirro. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Spider-Man: Far From Home turns a class-conscious hero into a tech bro," 3 July 2019 Separately, Whidden said a complaint alleging that Crawford treated a staffer with brusque behavior was filed in March. Dakota Smith,, "Investigation finds L.A. city commissioner made unwanted and inappropriate remarks," 30 May 2018 Some of Shulkin’s detractors have bristled at his sometimes brusque demeanor and affiliation with the Obama administration, according to current and former agency officials and veterans groups. Washington Post, "VA chief fights for his political future amid internal strife and allegations of subterfuge," 6 Mar. 2018 Connie’s brusque attitude and sugar addiction attempt to push her in the direction of a Lethal Weapon-esque self-destructive cop. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Happytime Murders tests the limits of subverting nostalgia," 24 Aug. 2018 But according to the White House, the brusque response came as McGahn reached out to each Senate Judiciary Committee member to discuss the Supreme Court confirmation process. Fox News, "Kamala Harris' office allegedly rejected SCOTUS courtesy call: 'We want nothing to do with you'," 10 July 2018 This undelivered missive is one of the great paternal indictments in all of European literature, written by a shy, sickly, painfully sensitive 36-year-old Kafka and addressed to his brusque and authoritarian father, Hermann. Jeremy Eichler,, "Kafka encaged, writing to his father," 18 June 2018 The brusque response came as McGahn reached out to each Senate Judiciary Committee member to discuss the Supreme Court confirmation process. Judson Berger, Fox News, "Kamala Harris' office rejected SCOTUS courtesy call from White House: 'We want nothing to do with you'," 10 July 2018 Sanders was the latest to experience a brusque reception in such a setting. Washington Post, "Sanders says she was told to leave Virginia restaurant," 25 June 2018

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.

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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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Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for brusque

The first known use of brusque was circa 1639

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More Definitions for brusque



English Language Learners Definition of brusque

: talking or behaving in a very direct, brief, and unfriendly way


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on brusque

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brusque

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brusque

Spanish Central: Translation of brusque

Nglish: Translation of brusque for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brusque for Arabic Speakers

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food or victuals

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