brute force

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See also: 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 mechanical aids or thought.
  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.
    E.g. to find the set of all positive integers that are multiples of seven, a brute force algorithm would search through all positive integers, checking each one to see if it is a multiple of seven, whereas a more intelligent algorithm might simply multiply the set of all positive integers by seven.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Not used with an article.
    We lifted the car by brute force.



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 methods.
    • 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 password, encryption, or any other protection mechanism by brute force methods.