\ 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 Winningham renders madness with the brusque straightforwardness and lopsided wisdom of a Shakespearean fool. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "‘Girl From the North Country’ Review: Bob Dylan’s Amazing Grace," 5 Mar. 2020 The first couple episodes back up that instinct by leaning into a deliberately brusque dialogue rhythm, pastel palette, and the characters’ own gaudy wealth. Caroline Framke,, "TV Review: Netflix’s ‘The Politician’ starring Ben Platt," 27 Sep. 2019 In Astoria, the charmingly brusque restaurateur Orhan Yegen offers seven variations on lamb, plus a rare Turkish breakfast. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Turkish Food with Attitude at Lokanta," 28 Sep. 2019 Taymore is brusque and obviously irritated that children’s potential can be stifled by adult resistance. Washington Post, "Schools in this Boston suburb were already high-performing. So why did the superintendent start over?," 10 Jan. 2020 Suzy Nakamura balances out Gad’s surplus energy as Iris, the Judd corporation’s brusque and efficient fixer. Kristen Baldwin,, "HBO's amusing Avenue 5 sends Hugh Laurie into orbit: Review," 9 Jan. 2020 Adams writes in a sort of brusque, Runyonesque shorthand; every sentence has the air of an urgent and dismissive telegram. Sadie Stein, Town & Country, "Cindy Adams, New York's Queen of Gossip, Keeps Everyone's Secrets," 5 Dec. 2019 Sal Giurleo, 80, the brusque family patriarch, started the business 31 years ago, following the footsteps of his father, an Italian immigrant who grew vegetables for First National grocery stores in the 1940s and ’50s., "At Millbrook Farm in Concord, an early Christmas miracle - The Boston Globe," 6 Dec. 2019 Critics say Siegal’s notoriously brusque personality has left her without a reservoir of goodwill to draw on during her current crisis. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Tarnished by Epstein Scandal, Power Publicist Peggy Siegal Attempts a Hollywood Comeback," 6 Nov. 2019

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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The first known use of brusque was circa 1639

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Cite this Entry

“Brusque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for brusque


How to pronounce brusque (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brusque

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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