barbarous

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin barbarus(foreigner, savage), from Ancient Greek βάρβαρος(bárbaros, foreign, strange).

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbɑː(ɹ)bəɹəs/
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Adjective[edit]

barbarous ‎(comparative more barbarous, superlative most barbarous)

  1. (said of language) Not classical or pure.
  2. uncivilized, uncultured
    • 1801, Isaac Watts, The improvement of the mind, or A supplement to the art of logic
      It is the remark of an ingenious writer, should a barbarous Indian, who had never seen a palace or a ship, view their separate and disjointed parts, and observe the pillars, doors, windows, cornices and turrets of the one, or the prow and stern, the ribs and masts, the ropes and shrouds, the sails and tackle of the other, he would be able to form but a very lame and dark idea of either of those excellent and useful inventions.
  3. Like a barbarian, especially in sound; noisy, dissonant.
    I did but prompt the age to quit their cloggs
    By the known rules of antient libertie,
    When strait a barbarous noise environs me
    Of Owles and Cuckoes, Asses, Apes and Doggs - I did but prompt the age to quit their cloggs, John Milton (1673)

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Translations[edit]

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