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brute1

[broot]
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noun
  1. a nonhuman creature; beast.
  2. a brutal, insensitive, or crude person.
  3. the animal qualities, desires, etc., of humankind: Father felt that rough games brought out the brute in us.
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adjective
  1. animal; not human.
  2. not characterized by intelligence or reason; irrational.
  3. characteristic of animals; of brutal character or quality.
  4. savage; cruel: brute force.
  5. carnal; sensual.
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Origin of brute1

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin brūtus heavy, devoid of feeling, irrational
Related formsbrute·like, adjectivebrute·ly, adverbbrute·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See animal.

brute2

[broot]
verb (used with object), brut·ed, brut·ing.
  1. to shape (a diamond) by rubbing with another diamond or a diamond chip.
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Origin of brute2

back formation from bruting a rough hewing (of a diamond), partial translation of French brutage literally, a roughing, equivalent to brut rough, raw (see brute1) + -age -age

et tu, Brute

[et too broo-tey]
Latin.
  1. and thou, Brutus!: alleged dying words of Julius Caesar uttered as his friend Brutus stabbed him.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

beastloutcritteranimalogresavageruffiandevilmonstercannibalswinedegeneratefiendcreaturesadistbeastlybestialbodilycarnalferal

Examples from the Web for brute

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The very drunk have the intuition sometimes of savages or brute beasts.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • I believe every man's a brute when the woman he loves defies him.

  • That brute of a Bouquet came spying about my castle, and I did but defend myself.

  • From brute beasts you have restored us to the condition of men again.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • But hunting does not make one wholly a brute, crying, 'Kill, kill!'

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson


British Dictionary definitions for brute

brute

noun
    1. any animal except man; beast; lower animal
    2. (as modifier)brute nature
  1. a brutal person
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adjective (prenominal)
  1. wholly instinctive or physical (esp in the phrases brute strength, brute force)
  2. without reason or intelligence
  3. coarse and grossly sensual
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin brūtus heavy, irrational; related to gravis heavy
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 brute

adj.

early 15c., "of or belonging to animals," from Middle French brut "coarse, brutal, raw, crude," from Latin brutus "heavy, dull, stupid," an Oscan word, from PIE root *gwere- "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). Before reaching English the meaning expanded to "of the lower animals." Used of human beings from 1530s.

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n.

1610s, from brute (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper