Barbarous

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Barbarous'

Barbarous Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    barbarous adj
  1. (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering; "a barbarous crime"; "brutal beatings"; "cruel tortures"; "Stalin's roughshod treatment of the kulaks"; "a savage slap"; "vicious kicks" [syn: brutal, cruel, fell, roughshod, savage, vicious]
  2. primitive in customs and culture
Barbarous Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Barbarous \Bar"ba*rous\, a. [L. barbarus, Gr. ?, strange, foreign; later, slavish, rude, ignorant; akin to L. balbus stammering, Skr. barbara stammering, outlandish. Cf. Brave, a.]
  1. Being in the state of a barbarian; uncivilized; rude; peopled with barbarians; as, a barbarous people; a barbarous country.
  2. Foreign; adapted to a barbaric taste. [Obs.] Barbarous gold. --Dryden.
  3. Cruel; ferocious; inhuman; merciless. By their barbarous usage he died within a few days, to the grief of all that knew him. --Clarendon.
  4. Contrary to the pure idioms of a language. A barbarous expression --G. Campbell. Syn: Uncivilized; unlettered; uncultivated; untutored; ignorant; merciless; brutal. See Ferocious.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Barbarous'


Barbarian and Savage are pejorative terms used to refer to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage. In idiomatic or figurative usage, a "barbarian" may also be an individual reference to a brutal, cruel, warlike, insensitive person.

The notion of "barbarians" can be found throughout the world, in Western cultures, East Asian cultures, and other civilizations.

In the West, "barbarian" originates in the ancient Greek civilization, meaning "anyone who is not Greek", and thus was often used to refer to other civilized people, such as the people of the Persian Empire.

The Greeks used the term as they encountered scores of different foreign cultures, including the Egyptians, Persians, Medes, Celts, Germans, Phoenicians, Etruscans and Carthaginians. It, in fact, became a common term to refer to all foreigners. However in various occasions, the term was also used by Greeks, especially the Athenians, to deride other Greek tribes and states (such as Epirotes, Eleans, Macedonians and Aeolic-speakers) in a pejorative and politically motivated manner. The verb βαρβαρίζειν (barbarízein) in ancient Greek meant imitating the linguistic sounds non-Greeks made or making grammatical errors in Greek.

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'Barbarous' in famous quotation sentence


* Hamlet is a course and barbarous play. One might think the work is the product of a drunken savage's imagination. - Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire


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