bru·​tal·​ize | \ ˈbrü-tᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce brutalize (audio) \
brutalized; brutalizing

Definition of brutalize

transitive verb

1 : to make brutal, unfeeling, or inhuman temperaments brutalized by poverty and disease
2 : to treat brutally an accord not to brutalize prisoners of war

Other Words from brutalize

brutalization \ ˌbrü-​tᵊl-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce brutalize (audio) \ noun

Examples of brutalize in a Sentence

a young man brutalized by the experience of war The prisoners claimed to have been brutalized by their captors.
Recent Examples on the Web Ryon Travis didn't just brutalize women, the feds say. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 26 July 2022 As protesters attempted to head across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they were met by a group of state troopers who stood ready to attack and brutalize them. Jacquelyne Germain, CNN, 19 July 2022 Public torture in seventeenth-century Europe created searing, unforgettable spectacles of pain and suffering to convey the message that a system in which husbands could brutalize wives, and parents could beat children, was ultimately a form of love. David Graeber, Harper's Magazine, 26 Oct. 2021 Trump was able to use that weakness and disorganization to transform the department first into a machine for carrying out policies designed to brutalize immigrants, and then into a police force attacking people protesting the murder of George Floyd. Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2021 Roaming morality police brutalize women for not wearing the mandatory hijab. Hossein Ronaghi, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 On the other side of the Canadian border, Nick drives Fred into No Man's Land, where he is met with June and a group of women who brutalize him to death. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 June 2021 This is even more critical when police are allowed to brutalize someone unjustifiably or murder people in the streets. Edward Segal, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Anna’s trauma has helped her in her police work of tracking down the monsters who brutalize children. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of brutalize

circa 1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of brutalize was circa 1704

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brutalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on brutalize

Nglish: Translation of brutalize for Spanish Speakers


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