brute force

Idioms & Phrases

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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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