brute force

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Alternative forms[edit]



brute force (uncountable)

  1. A method of accomplishing something primarily by means of strength, without the use of great skill, mechanical aids or thought.
    We lifted the car by brute force.
  2. (computer science) A method of computation wherein the computer is let to try all permutations of a problem until one is found that provides a solution, in contrast to the implementation of a more intelligent algorithm.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Not used with an article. We say brute force and it is incorrect to say a brute force or the brute force. That is because it is a mass noun, not a count noun.


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brute force (third-person singular simple present brute forces, present participle brute forcing, simple past and past participle brute forced)

  1. (transitive) To solve (a computational problem) by brute force.
    • 1960, Scott Cameron, Marshall Clinton Yovits, Self-organizing Systems: Proceedings - Page 187
      "In trying to solve the problem in this simplified space, it does different things than it did when it was brute forcing its way through the original space."
  2. (computing) To break a password, encryption, or any other protection mechanism by brute force.

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