Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "barbarous" []

  • Primitive in culture and customs; uncivilized. (adjective)
  • Lacking refinement or culture; coarse. (adjective)
  • Characterized by savagery; very cruel. See Synonyms at cruel. (adjective)
  • Marked by the use or occurrence of barbarisms in spoken or written language. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "barbarous" in a sentence
  • "In the times which we call barbarous, great benefices and abbeys were taxed in France to the third of their revenue."
  • "The specific atrocity of such spectacles -- unknown to the earlier ages which they called barbarous -- was due to the cold-blooded selfishness, the hideous realism of a refined, delicate, æsthetic age."
  • "So far as the essence of justice is concerned, there is no difference between one of the cases of punishment which you called barbarous, and one in which the penalty follows the offence within the hour."