from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive & intransitive verb To make or become crude, savage, or barbarous.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To speak or write like a barbarian or foreigner; use barbarisms in speech or writing.
  • To become barbarous.
  • To corrupt (language, art, etc.) by introducing impurities, or by departing from recognized classical standards.
  • To render barbarous.
  • Also spelled barbarise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make barbarous.
  • intransitive verb To become barbarous.
  • intransitive verb To adopt a foreign or barbarous mode of speech.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb to cause to become savage or uncultured

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

  • verb make crude or savage in behavior or speech
  • verb become crude or savage or barbaric in behavior or language


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Italian, or their native tongue; Pombal declaring, that the custom of speaking Latin was only "to teach them to barbarize."

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 56, No. 345, July, 1844

  • This might tend to barbarize, demoralize, and exasperate the whole mass and produce most deplorable consequences.

    State of the Union Address (1790-2001)

  • "Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in."

    The Elements of Character

  • The legions are barbarized and they barbarize the Emperor.

    Medieval People

  • He never had a family to de-barbarize, even though he did write very pretty books about the subject.

    The Prairie Mother

  • George Meredith says a good thing in 'Diana of the Crossways': 'Before you can civilize a man, you must first de-barbarize him.'

    The Valley of Vision : a Book of Romance an Some Half Told Tales

  • Manners are what vex or soothe, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us by a constant, steady, uniform, invincible operation like that of the air we breathe.

    Pushing to the Front

  • Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine, by a constant, steady, uniform and insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in.

    A Manual of Etiquette with Hints on Politeness and Good Breeding

  • The institution had been wiped out in New England, not by enfranchisement, but by sale to the people of the South, when no longer useful or valuable at home; and all the sin of slavery had followed the slave, to barbarize and degrade the people of the South.

    The Memories of Fifty Years

  • A country which by its heroism and endurance, by its adherence to right and justice, by its noble refusal under every provocation to barbarize [sic] itself by imitating the outrages it has suffered, has won already a glorious name.

    Sermons, 1861-1865,


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.