[ broot-l-iz-uhm ]

  1. Architecture. a style of modernist architecture, originating in the 1950s, characterized by exposed structural materials and plain, massive, often steeply angular geometric forms, typically of unfinished concrete.

  2. a style in art, furniture, jewelry, etc., influenced by this architecture and often characterized by outsized elements or the use of unfinished or roughly textured materials.

Origin of brutalism

First recorded in 1795–1805, for literal sense; brutal + -ism; in reference to architecture first used by British architects Alison Smithson (1928–93) and Peter Smithson (1923–2003) in 1953

Other words from brutalism

  • bru·tal·ist, noun, adjective

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

How to use brutalism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for brutalism


/ (ˈbruːtəˌlɪzəm) /

  1. an austere style of architecture characterized by emphasis on such structural materials as undressed concrete and unconcealed service pipes: Also called: new brutalism

Derived forms of brutalism

  • brutalist, noun, adjective

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