[ bahr-buh-riz-uhm ]
See synonyms for barbarism on
  1. a barbarous or uncivilized state or condition.

  2. a barbarous act; something belonging to or befitting a barbarous condition.

  1. the use in a language of forms or constructions felt by some to be undesirably alien to the established standards of the language.

  2. such a form or construction: Some people consider “complected” as a barbarism.

Origin of barbarism

1570–80; <Latin barbarismus<Greek barbarismós foreign way of speaking. See barbarous, -ism

Other words from barbarism

  • hy·per·bar·bar·ism, noun

Words that may be confused with barbarism

Words Nearby barbarism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use barbarism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for barbarism


/ (ˈbɑːbəˌrɪzəm) /

  1. a brutal, coarse, or ignorant act

  2. the condition of being backward, coarse, or ignorant

  1. a substandard or erroneously constructed or derived word or expression; solecism

  2. any act or object that offends against accepted taste

Origin of barbarism

C16: from Latin barbarismus error of speech, from Greek barbarismos, from barbaros 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