the main force or impact, as of an attack or blow: His arm took the brunt of the blow.

1275–1325; Middle English; perhaps orig. sexual assault; akin to Old Norse brundr, German Brunft heat, ruttish state, Old English brunetha heat, itching; cognate with Old High German bronado. See burn1

thrust, stress, burden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To brunt
World English Dictionary
brunt (brʌnt)
the main force or shock of a blow, attack, etc (esp in the phrase bear the brunt of)
[C14: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

early 14c., "a sharp blow," of uncertain origin, perhaps from O.N. brundr "sexual heat," or bruna "to advance like wildfire." Meaning "chief force" is first attested 1570s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see bear the brunt.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
BP bears the brunt of the report's stinging criticism, but not all of it.
How interesting that the staff must always be take the brunt of criticism.
Now relatively unskilled youngsters are bearing the brunt of the recession.
In my state, the universities always bear the brunt of an economic crisis.
Related Words
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature