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brute force

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Also, brute strength. Savage violence, unreasoning strength, as in We hope that reason will triumph over brute force. Although this expression is also used literally to mean exceptional physical power, the figurative sense reflects the origin for brute, which comes from Latin brutus, for “heavy, stupid, unreasoning.” [First half of 1700s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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