brute force

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]

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

Examples from the Web for brute force

Historical Examples of brute force

  • There is harm in the exercise of brute-force, never in that of pity.

    Indian Home Rule

    M. K. Gandhi

  • When this misfortune occurred there was no remedy that brute-force could devise.

    Folk-lore and legends: English

    Charles John Tibbits

  • You can only call this, in the most literal sense of the word, the brute-force of language.

    Robert Browning

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Your first job will be to build some kind of a brute-force, belt-or-gear thing to act as a clock.

  • For those who are labouring under the delusive charms of brute-force, this picture is not overdrawn.

    Indian Home Rule

    M. K. Gandhi