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or brusk

[bruhsk; especially British broo sk] /brʌsk; especially British brʊsk/
abrupt in manner; blunt; rough:
A brusque welcome greeted his unexpected return.
Origin of brusque
1595-1605; < Middle French < Italian brusco rough, tart, special use of brusco (noun) butcher's broom < Late Latin brūscum, for Latin rūscus, rūscum, perhaps conflated with Vulgar Latin *brūcus heather (see brier2)
Related forms
brusquely, adverb
brusqueness, noun
unceremonious, short, curt.
Synonym Study
See blunt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for brusk
Historical Examples
  • He was just as brusk and as brief of speech as he had been before.

    A Little Miss Nobody

    Amy Bell Marlowe
  • The words came eagerly with the brusk assurance of an immediate answer.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
  • Lady Ingleton did not look surprised on receiving this brusk negative.

    In the Wilderness Robert Hichens
  • With this brusk and emphatic reply he left the ravine, followed by Oza.

    A Prince of Anahuac James A. Porter
  • It was no occasion for tenderness or chivalry: brusk silent action was the cue.

    The Gay Adventure Richard Bird
  • Steele's eyes met the other's squarely; then he made a brusk movement.

    Half A Chance Frederic S. Isham
  • But although his words were brusk, he felt in his pocket; a sovereign--it was all he had left about him.

    Half A Chance Frederic S. Isham
  • "You might have stood in on that if you had taken Guilford's offer," was the brusk rejoinder.

    The Grafters Francis Lynde
  • "Take this chair, Uncle Rod," said the boy in a voice of brusk indifference.

    The Real Adventure

    Henry Kitchell Webster
  • "If you're so keen on telling the colonel, just say you've seen Nibbetts," the brusk one suggested.

    The Tigress Anne Warner
British Dictionary definitions for brusk


/bruːsk; brʊsk/
blunt or curt in manner or speech
Derived Forms
brusquely, adverb
brusqueness, (rare) brusquerie (ˈbruːskərɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian brusco sour, rough, from Medieval Latin bruscus butcher's broom
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brusk



1650s, from French brusque "lively, fierce," from Italian adjective brusco "sharp, tart, rough," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruscum "butcher's broom plant."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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