I. noun — [ mass noun] 1. absence of culture and civilization • the collapse of civilization and the return to barbarism.
2. [ count noun] — a word or expression which is badly formed according to traditional philological rules, e.g. a word formed from elements of different languages, such as breathalyser (English and Greek) or television (Greek and Latin). 3. extreme cruelty or brutality • she called the execution an act of barbarism.
– origin late Middle English: from Old French barbarisme, via Latin from Greek barbarismos, from barbarizein ‘speak like a foreigner’, from barbaros ‘foreign’.