Definition of brutal
1 archaic : typical of beasts : animal thee, Serpent … to me so friendly grown above the rest of brutal kind — John Milton
2 : suitable to one who lacks intelligence, sensitivity, or compassion : befitting a brute: such asa : grossly ruthless or unfeeling a brutal slanderb : cruel, cold-blooded a brutal attackc : harsh, severe brutal weatherd : unpleasantly accurate and incisive the brutal truthe : very bad or unpleasant a brutal mistake
brutallyplay \-təl-ē\ adverb
Examples of brutal in a Sentence
Sailors sometimes faced brutal punishments like whipping.
a brutal struggle for survival in the wilderness
The writer describes the dangers of drugs with brutal honesty.
The movie is a brutal depiction of the war.
The traffic was brutal on the way to work.
I had a brutal headache this morning.
Recent Examples of brutal from the Web
The trustful Dutch overwhelmed; their beloved and respected Sovereign driven into exile; the peaceful city of Rotterdam the scene of a massacre as hideous and brutal as anything in the Thirty Years War.
Using substantial force also increases the opportunity for insurgent propaganda to portray lethal military activities as brutal.
The pressure is especially brutal in the airline industry because the key expense, fuel, is for the most part beyond management control.
Sri Lanka participated in years of U.N. peacekeeping operations while the country was embroiled in a brutal, generation-long civil war.
That this obsession hasn't consumed Cooper is a testament to her mettle, sharpened over 22 years of brutal, self-effacing critiques while walking a mental tight rope during her prolific career.
So Norcross kept broadcasting the same message: Get ready for a brutal storm.
The assassination of Mazen Fuqaha, a senior member of Hamas’s military wing, set off a brutal search for people accused of collaborating with Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The main issues raised in the call between Trump and Duterte have to do with the Philippines leader's brutal nationwide crackdown on drug use and the threat of a North Korean nuclear program.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brutal'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of brutal
Middle English, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French, from Medieval Latin brutalis, from Latin brutus — more at brute
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of brutal
BRUTAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of brutal for English Language Learners
: extremely cruel or harsh
: very direct and accurate in a way that is harsh or unpleasant
: very bad or unpleasant
BRUTAL Defined for Kids
Definition of brutal for Students
: cruel and harsh brutal treatment
Seen and Heard
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