Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An animal; a beast.
  • n. A brutal, crude, or insensitive person.
  • adj. Of or relating to beasts; animal: "None of the brute creation requires more than food and shelter” ( Henry David Thoreau).
  • adj. Characteristic of a brute, especially:
  • adj. Entirely physical: brute force.
  • adj. Lacking or showing a lack of reason or intelligence: a brute impulse.
  • adj. Savage; cruel: brute coercion.
  • adj. Unremittingly severe: was driven to steal food through brute necessity.
  • adj. Coarse; brutish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Strong, blunt, and spontaneous
  • n. One who has not yet matriculated.
  • v. Obsolete spelling of bruit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not having sensation; senseless; inanimate; unconscious; without intelligence or volition.
  • adj. Not possessing reason, irrational; unthinking.
  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of, a brute beast. Hence: Brutal; cruel; fierce; ferocious; savage; pitiless.
  • adj. Having the physical powers predominating over the mental; coarse; unpolished; unintelligent.
  • adj. Rough; uncivilized; unfeeling.
  • n. An animal destitute of human reason; any animal not human; esp. a quadruped; a beast.
  • n. A brutal person; a savage in heart or manners; as unfeeling or coarse person.
  • transitive v. To report; to bruit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Senseless; unconscious.
  • Wanting reason; animal; not human: as, a brute beast.
  • Characteristic of animals; of brutal character or quality.
  • Blunt or dull of sentiment; without sensibility; rough; uncivilized; insensible.
  • Not associated with intelligence or intellectual effort; unintelligent; irrational.
  • Harsh; crude.
  • Synonyms Brute, Brutish, Brutal, Beastly, Bestial. Brute is the most general of these words, and remains nearest to the distinguishing difference between man and beast, irrationality: as, brute force. Brutish is especially uncultured, stupid, groveling: as, brutes and still more brutish men. Brutal implies cruelty or lack of feeling: as, brutal language or conduct. Beastly expresses that which is altogether unworthy of a man, especially that which is filthy and disgusting in conduct or manner of life. Bestial is applied chiefly to that which is carnal, sensual, lascivious: as, bestial vices or appetites.
  • n. A beast, especially one of the higher quadrupeds; any animal as distinguished from man.
  • n. A brutal person; a savage in disposition or manners; a low-bred, unfeeling person.
  • n. Nautical, a yacht that to some extent sacrifices fineness of lines to fullness of form, so that great initial stability and sail-carrying power are obtained.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cruelly rapacious person
  • adj. resembling a beast; showing lack of human sensibility
  • n. a living organism characterized by voluntary movement

Etymologies

From Middle English, nonhuman, from Old French brut, from Latin brūtus, stupid; see gwerə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French brut, from Latin brūtus ("dull, stupid, insensible"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Et tu, cruel rapaciousness.

    October 25, 2009