\ 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 With Penei Sewell on the left side and Jones on the right, that’s a lot of bulk to protect the edges and brute force to pave the way for B and C gap runs. oregonlive, "Steven Jones gives Oregon Ducks another pillar on offensive line at right tackle," 9 May 2020 Facebook marketers use brute force to make their way through this process, hoping to send the right messages for those few hours, and then the next, and then the next. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "How Facebook Works for Trump," 17 Apr. 2020 Viruses, unlike hostile armies, can’t be defeated with sheer brute force. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Shoes to Masks: Corporate Innovation Flourishes in Coronavirus Fight," 16 Apr. 2020 All of these substances will break down many types of microbes through brute force, physically dismantling bits of their anatomy. Katherine J. Wu, Popular Science, "Fight viruses in your home without making bacteria stronger," 4 Apr. 2020 That could mean anything from using brute force to squash 20th-century labor strikes to Amazon threatening to fire employees who speak out publicly about climate change. Daylon Prochaska, Teen Vogue, "Attention Climate Justice Activists: Reject the Political Establishment," 10 Mar. 2020 The episode and the series understand that gentrification isn’t merely a brute force but an insidious one. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "‘Gentefied’ Review: A Rent Is Too Damn High Party," 20 Feb. 2020 Mimi leaves the bloody scene, shaken by the brute force of the Americans and left to strike out on her own without Pablo. Kelsea Stahler,, "How Narcos: Mexico’s Sosie Bacon Channeled The Real Mimi Webb Miller’s Romance With Pablo Acosta," 20 Feb. 2020 With digital audio, a few mouse clicks can compress the dynamic range with brute force. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "Streaming Music Doesn't Flow, It Evaporates," 18 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This brute link between abnormal activity patterns—whether induced by the spontaneous disease process or controlled by a surgeon’s electrode—and subjective experience provides support for a biological, not spiritual, origin. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about the Brain," 19 May 2020 Again defying the brute nationalist logic of border closure, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread as an unseen stealth agent among us, causing illness and death. Laurie Garrett, The New Republic, "How Trump and Xi set the stage for the coronavirus pandemic," 2 Apr. 2020 Even before then, Venice was grappling with the no longer a seasonal annoyance but a brute force that invades with increasing, alarming frequency. David Leventi, Town & Country, "Why Venice Will Endure No Matter What," 11 Mar. 2020 This brute-ute is more than just a straight-line rocket, however. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "2020 BMW X6 M: Check Your Six," 5 Mar. 2020 However tangled the accompanying political realities may be, the brute facts do not benefit from nuance. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, "The Passion of Greta Thunberg," 27 Dec. 2019 The metaphor is clear: The Scottsboro Boys, cast as brutes in a show trial, were convicted not on the weight of the evidence but by the color of their skin. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Kander and Ebb’s ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at the Beck Center entrances as it weaves its story of savage racial injustice," 16 Feb. 2020 The 23-year-old defenseman is a vital piece of the Bruins puzzle, a 6-foot-5-inch, 212-pound defenseman with brute strength and superior skill. Tara Sullivan,, "Brandon Carlo is grateful for Bruins’ support after personal tragedy," 12 Feb. 2020 But Alicia Vikander, who has her own Oscar statue, brought enough physicality and brute strength for the entire subgenre of video game films. Washington Post, "Modding the Oscars," 6 Feb. 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.

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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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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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

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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

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