\ 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The alternative is that we Palestinians are totally exposed to Israel’s brute force and total impunity, which will reach yet another boiling point when any grouping of Palestinians reacts in kind. Sam Bahour, Washington Post, 3 June 2021 While political parties have denounced the violence, some might be taking advantage of the money and brute force of armed groups. Author: Mary Beth Sheridan, Anchorage Daily News, 3 June 2021 The kid is just such a brute, 6-9, 250, just tough kid, great kid, a kid with high character. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, 23 Oct. 2020 Unlike the Tulsa massacre, which also happened 100 years ago and where brute force, arson and murder cleared the area known as Black Wall Street, nobody died in Denton. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, 27 May 2021 Johnson's brute force and ability to score near the basket (81.5% accuracy rate within three feet) could come in handy given how the team is primarily perimeter driven. Morten Jensen, Forbes, 23 May 2021 While political parties have denounced the violence, some might be taking advantage of the money and brute force of armed groups. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2021 Unfortunately, most people follow a strategy of brute force. Shilpa Kulshrestha, Forbes, 17 May 2021 For all that, the party’s brute-force Trump faction is ascendant as Republicans place their bets on the energy and passions of his core supporters in the approach to the midterm elections next year. The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun How Paul Cézanne transformed himself from a hypersensitive, grudge-bearing brute of an artist into one of France’s great classicists — the Raphael or Poussin of modernism — is one of the great mysteries. Washington Post, 15 June 2021 In the last volume of the novel, Proust has his hyper-refined Baron de Charlus, after paying to be beaten in a brothel, protest that his punisher was not of sufficiently humble origins—not an authentic brute but only a pretend one. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 In a former life, the jet-black brute was actually a Kawasaki Z 900, though the Japanese giant’s naked bike has been stripped down to a point beyond recognition. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 12 Apr. 2021 This is punishment as entertainment, a short and sour saga of a pacifist turned vengeful brute in order to win back his self-respect. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2021 That’s because G63 AMG’s factory 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 is a true brute. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 18 Mar. 2021 Aston pairs height-adjustable air springs with 48-volt active anti-roll bars that keep this 5128-pound brute flat in corners. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 18 Mar. 2021 On February 19, shortly before Baxter got there, Iowa angler Joe McKay caught a new lake record bass, a 16.40-pound brute. Pete Robbins, Field & Stream, 8 Mar. 2021 Peter Dinklage is Roman Lunyov, a sinister brute with connections to the Russian mob. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 18 Feb. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for brute

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for brute

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for brute



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

More from Merriam-Webster on brute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brute

Nglish: Translation of brute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brute for Arabic Speakers


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