Abrupt or blunt in manner or speech.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



curt, blunt, short, abrupt, offhand, impolite, rude, tactless, ungracious, discourteous.


courteous, polite, civil, courteous, diplomatic, genial, affable, amiable, gentle, pleasant.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun brusquenesses, brusqueness
Verb None
Adjective brusque
Adverb brusquely

Example Sentences

  • His brusque tone of voice made everyone feel nervous.

  • When she asked him a question, he responded in a brusque and dismissive manner.

  • The salesperson’s brusque approach made me hesitant to buy the product.

  • The boss’s brusque way of giving orders frustrated her team members.


Brusque is an adjective that describes a behavior or communication style that is abrupt, blunt, and lacking in tact or empathy. It is often used to criticize people who speak or act in an unfriendly or discourteous way.

The word brusque comes from the French brusque, meaning “brisk” or “abrupt.” The root of the word is the Latin bruscus, which referred to a kind of butcher’s broom with stiff and prickly bristles. This prickliness and roughness is reflected in the definition of the adjective brusque, which characterizes a similar abrasiveness in human behavior.

Brusque can be used in both formal and informal settings, and it is commonly encountered in contexts such as business, customer service, and personal relationships. People who exhibit brusque behavior may be seen as unfriendly or unapproachable, and their actions can be interpreted as a lack of respect or consideration for others. As such, being brusque is often seen as a negative trait, and people who display it may struggle to form and maintain positive relationships with others.

Prefixes and suffixes can be added to the word brusque to modify its meaning. The prefix un-, for example, can be added to create the word unbrusque, which describes someone who is polite and courteous rather than rude and abrupt. Similarly, the suffix -ness can be added to create the noun brusqueness, which refers to the quality of being brusque. Other variations of the word include brusquely (adverb) and brusqueness (noun).