or brusk

[bruhsk; especially British broosk]


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 formsbrusque·ly, adverbbrusque·ness, noun

Synonyms for brusque

Synonym study

See blunt. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brusque

Contemporary Examples of brusque

Historical Examples of brusque

  • Then, with a brusque movement of furious resolution, he disappeared in the night.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • A brusque question caused him to stutter to the point of suffocation.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The colonel-president, with a brusque gesture, interrupted this confession.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • It occurred to him that this brusque man of action might be compared to just such a being.

  • Thorpe hailed him, with a peremptory tone, and gave the brusque order, "Strand!"

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for brusque



blunt or curt in manner or speech
Derived Formsbrusquely, adverbbrusqueness or rare brusquerie (ˈbruːskərɪ), noun

Word Origin for brusque

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

Word Origin and History for brusque

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