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Severity HighlightPlay
Use 'brutalize' to stress the extreme cruelty or harshness of the treatment received. SlideJournalists reported that the regime brutalized protestors without mercy.
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Active HarmPlay
'Brutalize' implies an active effort to inflict suffering or hardship on others. SlideThe officers were accused of brutally brutalizing the unarmed man during the arrest.
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The word often describes situations worse than common neglect or mistreatment. SlideAfter being brutalized in captivity, the hostages were finally rescued.