Definition of barbarize in English:


See synonyms for barbarize on

Translate barbarize into Spanish

transitive verb

(also British barbarise)
[with object]
  • Cause to become savage or uncultured.

    ‘these poor inhabitants had been deliberately barbarized’
    • ‘the barbarizing effect of four decades of rock 'n' roll’
    • ‘Kirkeby evidently was not above barbarizing them with crude strokes and muddy patches of overpainting when they threatened to become too accessible.’
    • ‘The army itself was barbarized and turned into an instrument of sheer oppression.’
    • ‘Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in.’
    • ‘Other races were infantilised or barbarised, or held up as object lessons in the perils of racial degeneration.’
    • ‘It proposes a barbarising of the inside of a language (thus culture) such as is unavoidable for those coming to a culture from its outside.’



/ˈbärbəˌrīz/ /ˈbɑrbəˌraɪz/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘speak using barbarisms’): from late Latin barbarizare, from Greek barbarizein ‘speak like a foreigner’.