1. Extremely ruthless or cruel.
2. Crude or unfeeling in manner or speech.
3. Harsh; unrelenting: a brutal winter in the Arctic.
4. Disagreeably precise or penetrating: spoke with brutal honesty.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.