AskDefine | Define barbarism

Dictionary Definition

barbarism n : a brutal barbarous savage act [syn: brutality, barbarity, savagery]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A barbaric act.
    These barbarisms can not be allowed to continue, they must be crushed or civilization will collapse.
  2. The condition of existing barbarically.
    • 1879, William Tecumseh Sherman, Address to the Michigan Military Academy
      War is at best barbarism...It's glory is all moonshine.
  3. An error in language use within a single word, such as a mispronunciation.
    • 2002, Hyman, Bad Grammar in Context, New England Classical Journal, 29, p. 94-101
      In the jargon of the ancient grammarian, penacilin would be a barbarism.


barbaric act
condition of existing barbarically
error in language use

Extensive Definition

Barbarism may refer to:
  • Barbarism (derived from barbarian), the condition to which a society or civilization may be reduced after a societal collapse, relative to an earlier period of cultural or technological advancement; the term may also be used pejoratively to describe another society or civilization which is deemed inferior in some way.
  • Barbarism (grammar), a non-standard word or expression.
  • Barbarism, a form of art also known as primitivism.
See also "barbarity", "barbaric"

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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