[ bahr-buh-riz-uh m ]
/ ˈbɑr bəˌrɪz əm /


a barbarous or uncivilized state or condition.
a barbarous act; something belonging to or befitting a barbarous condition.
the use in a language of forms or constructions felt by some to be undesirably alien to the established standards of the language.
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

Related forms

hy·per·bar·bar·ism, noun

Can be confused

barbarism barbarity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for barbarism

British Dictionary definitions for barbarism


/ (ˈbɑːbəˌrɪzəm) /


a brutal, coarse, or ignorant act
the condition of being backward, coarse, or ignorant
a substandard or erroneously constructed or derived word or expression; solecism
any act or object that offends against accepted taste

Word Origin for 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