without civilizing influences; uncivilized; primitive: barbaric invaders.
of, like, or befitting barbarians: a barbaric empire; barbaric practices.
crudely rich or splendid: barbaric decorations.

Origin of barbaric

1480–90; < Latin barbaricus < Greek barbarikós. See barbarous, -ic
Related formsbar·bar·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·bar·bar·ic, adjectivepre·bar·bar·ic, adjective

Synonym study

1, 3. See barbarian. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for barbaric

Contemporary Examples of barbaric

Historical Examples of barbaric

  • The throb of these sounds was as a background to the evening--fierce, passionate, barbaric.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • We had not, however, taken into account the obtuseness of a barbaric despot.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • There are other countries where this relic of the barbaric ages doesn't exist.

  • She had a surprising voice, of a barbaric quality, the ring of metal.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • That which they lacked the 'Barbaric' race alone was capable of supplying.

British Dictionary definitions for barbaric



of or characteristic of barbarians
primitive or unsophisticated; unrestrained
Derived Formsbarbarically, adverb

Word Origin for barbaric

C15: from Latin barbaricus foreign, outlandish; see barbarous
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

Word Origin and History for barbaric

late 15c., "uncultured, uncivilized, unpolished," from French barbarique (15c.), from Latin barbaricus "foreign, strange, outlandish," from Greek barbarikos "like a foreigner," from barbaros "foreign, rude" (see barbarian). Meaning "pertaining to barbarians" is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper