Adjective "barbarian" definition and examples

(Barbarian may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


(in ancient times) a member of a people not belonging to one of the great civilizations (Greek, Roman, Christian)
  1. 'That is, it is Moira that determines who shall be slave or master, peasant or warrior, citizen or non-citizen, Greek or barbarian.'
  2. 'Their background was probably very varied, some perhaps landowners, others military men, Roman or barbarian, who had been invited to take control or seized power.'
  3. 'Although the Roman aristocrats despised the barbarians, many also believed that they could use them to their own purposes.'
  4. 'Hadrian, we are informed by his fourth-century biographer, built his wall to divide the Romans from the barbarians.'
  5. 'It was arrogant pretension of the ancient Greeks to imagine that barbarians were slaves by nature.'
  6. 'It might be because purists realized they were a small group of Roman centurions and the barbarians were at the gates.'
  7. 'Moreover, some of the Greek cities thought they could use the barbarian, or the threat of him, against their enemies.'
  8. 'Others were happy to see Philip as a Greek, and as a man who could restore Greece to a position in which it could face the real barbarians, and in particular the Persians.'
  9. 'His decision to build a wall separating Roman Britain from the barbarians beyond symbolised that the empire had stopped growing.'
  10. 'From her experience in the east she regarded the Russians as barbarians, unused to the basic norms of civilised life.'
  11. 'It has become very fashionable in the middle reaches of government to beat up on the Americans as being uncultured barbarians.'
  12. 'Northern newspapers, in contrast, condemned Brooks as an unrestrained barbarian who, like the South as a whole, represented brutality and threatened to destroy the fabric of the nation.'
  13. 'Texans were more or less thought of as yahoo barbarians somewhere between the Beverly Hillbillies and Deliverance.'
  14. 'The use to which the wealth is put, and Jahangir's almost flippant attitude toward his riches, activates the notion of the ignorant barbarian.'
  15. 'What distinguishes civilized man from a barbarian must be acquired by every individual anew.'
  16. 'The rampant crowds were like ancient Viking barbarians, smoking heavily and taking down alcohol in large gulps.'
  17. 'Wine and bread, because they were created by man, were symbols of cultured living - only barbarians ate wild plants.'
  18. 'For here on, I will consider anyone consorting with these barbarians to be my enemy.'


Relating to ancient barbarians.
  1. 'Jordanes, who wrote in Constantinople in the 550s, even described the coup of 476 as if it had been a fully-fledged barbarian invasion.'
  2. 'The early medieval chapter adopts the by-now-commonplace position that the history of Europe after the fall of Rome and the barbarian invasions was one of progress.'
  3. 'The town suffered grievously during the barbarian invasions and it did not recover until the Middle Ages, when it took its present form, that of a fortified medieval settlement round a strong castle.'
  4. 'These remarks record the preeminent level of struggle against the loss of civilization brought on by the invasion of the barbarian hordes of Western Europe.'
  5. 'A process of urbanization was under way - a process which the Romans had to abandon in the 3rd century under the pressures of barbarian invasion.'
  6. 'This promising line of thought takes us back to the barbarian invasions that overwhelmed Rome in the 5th century.'
  7. 'Manchester United tours are not just a series of football matches but are events which resemble a call for a religious crusade or a barbarian invasion.'
  8. 'If this is a clash of civilizations, then one of our soldiers has just been murdered by our barbarian enemies.'
  9. 'Torsion catapults continued to be built into the time of the barbarian invasions when they were superseded by a traction artillery piece, the trebuchet.'
  10. 'In the face of continuing barbarian invasions, the smaller landowners were driven to seek protection and maintenance from more powerful men in return for which they gave service and obedience.'
  11. 'Democratic processes can do nothing to assuage the homicidal needs of barbarian madmen.'
  12. 'The supervisory board of the Bulgarian National Bank was a straight jacket for the elite, which drained the financial system in a pagan and barbarian way.'
  13. 'And if we do not do something, these barbarian rodents are bound to take over our lives!'
  14. 'In their wild and alien nature, these animals were the embodiment of all that was uncivilized and, therefore, of barbarian irrationality and evil.'
  15. 'It is an uneasy opening, as we watch Monroe have to shed his civility and have to regress: his modern nature being slowly eroded by the barbarian surroundings.'
  16. 'What is the barbarian fascination with airplanes?'
  17. 'But to the mindset of today's European leaders and commentators, America is a barbarian nation intent on world domination.'
  18. 'Roy is a true original, a barbarian living in a modern world, and relentlessly smashing everything in his path.'
  19. 'Despite being written for a barbarian reed pipe, Ts'ai Yen's songs can still be sung on Chinese instruments.'

More definitions

1. a person in a savage, primitive state; uncivilized person.

2. a person without culture, refinement, or education; philistine.

3. (loosely) a foreigner.

4. a non-Greek. a person living outside, especially north of, the Roman Empire. a person not living in a Christian country or within a Christian civilization.

5. (among Italians during the Renaissance) a person of non-Italian origin. adjective

6. uncivilized; crude; savage.

7. foreign; alien.

More examples(as adjective)

"invasions can be barbarian."

"traditions can be barbarian."

"wests can be barbarian."

"rulers can be barbarian."

"kings can be barbarian."

More examples++


Middle English (as an adjective used in a derogatory way to denote a person with different speech and customs): from Old French barbarien, from barbare, or from Latin barbarus (see barbarous).