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 brusqueness

Historical Examples of brusqueness

  • She thought she understood both the change of decision and the brusqueness.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • In those few months my mind had matured and the brusqueness of my will was softened.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • He observed all this, and with a brusqueness that was partly assumed he hastened to her rescue.

  • This unforeseen veil, baffling his curiosity checked his brusqueness.


    Joseph Conrad

  • But Miss Lee read in the brusqueness a strong feeling of sorrow for the child.


    Anna Balmer Myers

British Dictionary definitions for brusqueness



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 brusqueness



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