\ 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 Questions have swirled about how such an important government building, with so many security agencies available to assist, could be overcome by a mob of people wielding bats, bear repellent, and brute force. Author: Devlin Barrett, Missy Ryan, Anchorage Daily News, "Inspectors general of several federal agencies open sweeping review of security and intelligence surrounding Capitol attack," 15 Jan. 2021 Contee, 48, grew up in a Northeast Washington neighborhood battered by violence during the crack cocaine epidemic of the late 1980s and has talked of seeing officers using brute force. Washington Post, "Mayor chooses veteran officer Robert J. Contee as District’s next police chief," 22 Dec. 2020 When brute force works that effectively, a modest passing game and a bend-not-break defense will do. Childs Walker,, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 34-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys," 9 Dec. 2020 Emily and Ted, these notably unquiet Americans, win over their doubters through the brute force of their charm. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The New Comedy of American Decline," 3 Dec. 2020 In one sense, the Raiders are the anti-Chiefs, an anachronism assembled to win with brute force: with fullbacks and blocking tight ends and by running with Josh Jacobs, who harnesses the power of a transformer, out of two-back sets. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "103 Seconds to Go. Is Patrick Mahomes the Quarterback? No Problem.," 23 Nov. 2020 All the law-and-order, brute-force business was not foreign to him. Washington Post, "Rudy Giuliani is a mess," 19 Nov. 2020 Following the path of a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech — from raw ingredients to deep-freeze in Kalamazoo to the people seeking protection — reveals the brute-force engineering challenge that lies ahead. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, "A vial, a vaccine and hopes for slowing a pandemic — how a shot comes to be," 18 Nov. 2020 In their attempt to steal an election, administration officials like Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are using lies and brute political force (or farce, really) to try to game the system. Britni De La Cretaz,, "Apparently, This Fox News Contributor Thinks Whoopi Goldberg Is The Head Of The Democratic Party," 11 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Peter Dinklage is Roman Lunyov, a sinister brute with connections to the Russian mob. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘I Care a Lot’ Review: Guardian as Grifter," 18 Feb. 2021 For example, my friend has a brute of a silver Lab that’s a fine upland hunter. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "Buy a Hunting Dog that Suits You (and No One Else)," 24 Nov. 2020 The arrow double-lunged the brute, and even nicked the heart. Josh Honeycutt, Outdoor Life, "The Biggest Buck of the Season?," 16 Nov. 2020 According to Microsoft, the group has used a combination of password-spraying that tries common passwords across many users' accounts and password brute-forcing that tries many passwords against a single account. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Russia’s Fancy Bear Hackers Likely Penetrated a US Federal Agency," 1 Oct. 2020 But none of these modifications do much to disguise the elemental brute within. Tony Swan, Popular Mechanics, ""Earth Mover": PM Test Drives the 1992 Civilian Hummer," 20 Oct. 2020 Unlike Defenders of yore, the brute is built on a unibody which Rover engineers say eclipses the old ladder frame for strength. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Rugged meets refined in Land Rover’s remade Defender (review)," 10 Oct. 2020 After brute-forcing its way to dominance in so many industries, the tech leviathan may finally have met its match. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Amazon Wants to ‘Win at Games.’ So Why Hasn’t It?," 7 Oct. 2020 After more than a decade of concerted effort, the tech company that brute-forced its way to dominance in books, retail, and cloud computing has failed to produce a single successful big-name title. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Amazon Wants to ‘Win at Games.’ So Why Hasn’t It?," 7 Oct. 2020

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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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