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

  • adjective Extremely ruthless or cruel.
  • adjective Crude or unfeeling in manner or speech.
  • adjective Harsh; unrelenting.
  • adjective Disagreeably precise or penetrating.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to or resembling a brute; brutish: as, brutal nature; “brutal kind,”
  • Hence—2. Savage; cruel; inhuman; unfeeling: as, brutal passions; brutal manners.
  • Rude; harsh; coarse; crude.
  • =Syn.2. Brutish, Beastly, etc. (see brute); unfeeling, ruthless, rude, rough, gross, merciless, barbarous.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a brute.
  • adjective Like a brute; savage; cruel; inhuman; brutish; unfeeling; merciless; gross.

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

  • adjective Savagely violent, vicious, ruthless, or cruel
  • adjective Crude or unfeeling in manner or speech.
  • adjective Harsh; unrelenting
  • adjective Disagreeably precise or penetrating
  • adjective music, figuratively In extreme metal, to describe the speed of the music and the density of riffs.

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

  • adjective disagreeably direct and precise
  • adjective harsh
  • adjective (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
  • adjective resembling a beast; showing lack of human sensibility


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin brutalis ("savage, stupid"), from brūtus ("dull, stupid").


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  • In Ireland (especially Dublin), also a synonym for 'terrible' or 'awful'.

    December 13, 2006

  • Can also mean awesome in a dark way.

    December 30, 2006

  • In the mud, on your knees

    Trying hard not to please

    Anyone, all the time

    Being a rebel's fine

    But you go all the way to being brutal.

    (Lazy line painter Jane, by Belle and Sebastian)

    November 13, 2008