\ ˈbrüt How to pronounce brute (audio) \

Definition of brute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to beasts the ways of the brute world
2 : inanimate sense 1a a brute object
3 : characteristic of an animal in quality, action, or instinct: such as
a : cruel, savage brute violence
b : not working by reason brute instinct
4 : purely physical brute strength brute force
5 : unrelievedly harsh brute facts brute necessity



Definition of brute (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : beast
2 : one who lacks intelligence, sensitivity, or compassion : a brutal person

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of brute in a Sentence

Adjective They used brute force to open the door. the brute fact of getting old Noun Let go of me, you brute! it is a fundamental sense of right and wrong that separates us from the brutes
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But there are other ways to improve the long-term survival of your genes, and that's where evolution gets a little bit more complicated than just brute-force reproduction. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Why killer whales—and humans—evolved menopause," 16 Dec. 2019 OpenBullet automates a number of hacking tactics like credential stuffing and brute force attacks. Dan Patterson, CBS News, "Cybercriminals are doing big business in the gaming chat app Discord," 21 Oct. 2019 The 5-foot-10, 222-pound Moss has 200 carries for 1,246 yards with 15 touchdowns and runs with the brute force of an even bulkier back. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks DC Andy Avalos: Utah’s Tyler Huntley, Zack Moss lead ‘the most explosive offense that we’re going to play thus far’," 4 Dec. 2019 The film ends not with a bang, but with the whimper of an assassin whose inability to communicate through anything but brute force has left him alone and unloved. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "From ‘The Irishman’ to Mister Rogers, what it means to be a man is getting real," 29 Nov. 2019 Don't stake a claim and defend it with brute force. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Knee Defenders and stinky cheese: Crafty ways to reclaim your personal space when you fly," 22 Nov. 2019 This spartan operation is typical of the often unseen blue-collar foundation of the Internet Age economy, where brute force, not gigabytes, reigns. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, "In manufacturing Midwest, signs of trouble amid good times," 29 Oct. 2019 Channeling brute force into every aspect of its plan, Michigan built a 17-0 lead by halftime, widened that advantage early in the fourth quarter and finished off the Fighting Irish with another touchdown in the last minutes of regulation. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Why'd it take so long for Michigan football to look this good?," 27 Oct. 2019 Supporters of the pro-democracy protests say the episode epitomizes all that is wrong with a Hong Kong government that has prioritized brute force over genuine political dialogue. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "Hong Kong Protests Led a Student to Activism, Then to the Point of a Gun," 1 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At his very best with the Bears, Long was a mauler in the truest sense of the word, a brute on the interior of the offensive line who, above all else, wanted to know the snap count and the jersey number of the opponent he was supposed to bury next. Dan Wiederer,, "The end came quickly and abruptly for Kyle Long with the Bears. Now what? ‘I hate that this is how he has to go out.’," 17 Oct. 2019 That’s where Munch said Myers gets his brute strength. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "How 'aggressive, nasty’ Josh Myers became the leader Ohio State football needed at center," 17 Oct. 2019 The first was a display of the kind of brute strength that virtually no rookies enter the NBA with — especially a rookie that hasn’t had a 20th birthday. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Zion Williamson lives up to hype in preseason debut," 8 Oct. 2019 From running backs to linemen, Humble’s beefy roster and brute strength physically pummeled Memorial all night long as the first-place Wildcats blanked Memorial 41-0 Saturday night. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial pummeled by Humble in 41-0 District 22-6A romp," 28 Sep. 2019 The attacks were targeted against specific organizations and used brute-force password attacks to gain access to network resources. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "New Iranian wiper discovered in attacks on Middle Eastern companies," 4 Dec. 2019 Looking across the league in search of a trade that could truly trouble the two L.A. teams or the East brutes Milwaukee and Philly, I am repeatedly drawn to Denver. Marc Stein, New York Times, "5 New N.B.A. Truths," 18 Dec. 2019 Not exactly good history, but animation maestro Genndy Tartakovsky is aiming for visceral extremes in this eye-popping brute-force fantasy. Kristen Baldwin,, "The best (and worst) TV shows of 2019," 11 Dec. 2019 Certainly that must have been a grim fight, in the gloomy, lonely recesses of the swamp, with no one to watch the midnight death struggle between the powerful, naked man and the ferocious brute that was his almost unseen assailant. Declan Leary, National Review, "Theodore Roosevelt on the Range," 12 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of brute


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brute

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Middle French brut rough, from Latin brutus brutish, literally, heavy; akin to Latin gravis heavy — more at grieve

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brute

Time Traveler for brute

Time Traveler

The first known use of brute was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for brute

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brute.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brute


How to pronounce brute (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of brute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very strong or forceful
: very harsh



English Language Learners Definition of brute (Entry 2 of 2)

: a cruel, rough, or violent man


\ ˈbrüt How to pronounce brute (audio) \

Kids Definition of brute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: typical of beasts : like that of a beast We used brute force to open the door.



Kids Definition of brute (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a four-footed animal especially when wild
2 : a cruel or rough person

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on brute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brute

Spanish Central: Translation of brute

Nglish: Translation of brute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brute for Arabic Speakers

Comments on brute

What made you want to look up brute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!