savage; cruel; inhuman: a brutal attack on the village.
crude; coarse: brutal language.
harsh; ferocious: brutal criticism; brutal weather.
taxing, demanding, or exhausting: They're having a brutal time making ends meet.
irrational; unreasoning.
of or relating to lower animals.

Origin of brutal

1425–75; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin brūtālis. See brute1, -al1
Related formsbru·tal·ly, adverbhy·per·bru·tal, adjectivehy·per·bru·tal·ly, adverbnon·bru·tal, adjectivenon·bru·tal·ly, adverbo·ver·bru·tal, adjectiveo·ver·bru·tal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for brutal

Synonym study

1. See cruel.

Antonyms for brutal

1. kind. 6. human. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brutally

Contemporary Examples of brutally

Historical Examples of brutally

  • "You will find that you are up against a hell of a frost," she would declare, brutally.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He paused for an instant, then spoke in a voice that was brutally menacing.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The guard tugged at it brutally to bring it within range of his vision.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • But to be good and brutally frank about it, what she suffers just now doesn't count with me.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • "We want to go upstairs into your rooms," Macquart said to her brutally.

British Dictionary definitions for brutally



cruel; vicious; savage
extremely honest or coarse in speech or manner
harsh; severe; extremebrutal cold
Derived Formsbrutality, nounbrutally, adverb
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 brutally



mid-15c., in reference to the nature of animals, from Latin brutus (see brute (adj.)) + -al (1). Of persons, "fierce," 1640s. Related: Brutally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper