Savagely cruel or uncivilized


US English

UK English

Part of speech



brutal, inhuman, savage, uncivilized, primitive, rough


civilized, gentle, humane, sophisticated, refined, cultured

Example sentences

  • The war was characterized by barbarous acts of violence and destruction.
  • He was accused of committing a barbarous act of cruelty against the animal.
  • The tribe was known for its barbarous rituals and customs.


Barbarous is used to describe something or someone that is savagely cruel or uncivilized. It is often used to describe acts of violence, cruelty, or destruction, and can also be used to describe the behavior or culture of certain groups of people, such as primitive tribes or ancient civilizations. Barbarous behavior is typically seen as negative and inhumane, reflecting a lack of cultural, moral, or ethical development. However, it is important to note that the definition of barbarism has changed over time, and that what was once considered barbaric in one culture or era may be considered acceptable or even noble in another