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Denotation vs. Connotation

brutal

[broot-l] /ˈbrut l/
adjective
1.
savage; cruel; inhuman:
a brutal attack on the village.
2.
crude; coarse:
brutal language.
3.
harsh; ferocious:
brutal criticism; brutal weather.
4.
taxing, demanding, or exhausting:
They're having a brutal time making ends meet.
5.
irrational; unreasoning.
6.
of or relating to lower animals.
Origin of brutal
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin brūtālis. See brute1, -al1
Related forms
brutally, adverb
hyperbrutal, adjective
hyperbrutally, adverb
nonbrutal, adjective
nonbrutally, adverb
overbrutal, adjective
overbrutally, adverb
Synonyms
1. ferocious, brutish, barbarous. See cruel. 2. gross, rude, rough, uncivil. 6. bestial, beastly, animal.
Antonyms
1. kind. 6. human.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brutal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We are not on the brutal subject of prize-fighting, we are on chivalry.

    Harvard Stories Waldron Kintzing Post
  • Or perhaps it's a brutal revenge on me,—after thinking I'd only marry for money.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • After all that Elizabeth has been to him, that speech is the speech of a brutal and ungrateful nature.

  • His voice seemed to him rough and brutal, but he did not mean it so.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • We humans may or may not be brutal, but life is certainly more stimulating when there is an execution in the air.

    Tell England Ernest Raymond
British Dictionary definitions for brutal

brutal

/ˈbruːtəl/
adjective
1.
cruel; vicious; savage
2.
extremely honest or coarse in speech or manner
3.
harsh; severe; extreme: brutal cold
Derived Forms
brutality, noun
brutally, 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
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Word Origin and History for brutal
adj.

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
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Slang definitions & phrases for brutal

brutal

adjective

Excellent; great (1960s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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