From Latin barbarus (“foreigner, savage”), from Ancient Greek βάρβαρος (bárbaros, “foreign, strange”).
barbarous (comparative more barbarous, superlative most barbarous)
- (said of language) Not classical or pure.
- uncivilized, uncultured
- 1801, Isaac Watts, The improvement of the mind, or A supplement to the art of logic
- It is the remark of an ingenious writer, should a barbarous Indian, who had never seen a palace or a ship, view their separate and disjointed parts, and observe the pillars, doors, windows, cornices and turrets of the one, or the prow and stern, the ribs and masts, the ropes and shrouds, the sails and tackle of the other, he would be able to form but a very lame and dark idea of either of those excellent and useful inventions.
- Like a barbarian, especially in sound; noisy, dissonant.
- I did but prompt the age to quit their cloggs
- By the known rules of antient libertie,
- When strait a barbarous noise environs me
- Of Owles and Cuckoes, Asses, Apes and Doggs - I did but prompt the age to quit their cloggs, John Milton (1673)
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