区别辨析cruel、brutal、inhuman、savage、barbarous、fierce与ruthless

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这些形容词都有“残忍的”“野蛮的”之意。

cruel : 一般用词,指行动或态度的残忍。

  • Don't tease him about his weight - it's cruel.
    别拿他的体重开玩笑——这样太刻薄了。
  • Children can be very cruel to each other.
    小孩相互之间会很残忍。

brutal : 指极端的残忍,强调无情或缺乏同情心,含不择手段的意味。

  • a brutal dictator
    残暴的独裁者
  • He had presided over a brutal regime in which thousands of people had "disappeared".
    在他残暴的统治下,成千上万的人“失踪”了。
  • He was imprisoned in 1945 for the brutal murder of a twelve-year-old girl.
    1945年,他因残忍杀害了一名12岁女孩而入狱。

inhuman : 着重缺乏同情心、仁爱等人类特有的良好的品质。

  • Prisoners of war were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.
    战俘们受到了非人的待遇和侮辱。
  • inhuman and degrading treatment
    不人道的羞辱性对待

savage : 指缺乏文明人应有的教养,尤指在动怒或冲动时表现出的粗野蛮横,含野蛮意味。

  • a savage dog/beast
    凶猛的狗/野兽
  • a brutal and savage attack
    野蛮凶残的攻击

barbarous : 专指只有原始或未开化的人才会有的残忍行为。

  • His murder was an outrageous and barbarous act.
    对他的谋杀是骇人听闻的野蛮行径。
  • How can they forgive such barbarous behaviour?
    他们怎么能原谅这样的野蛮行为?

fierce : 指天性凶恶,令人害怕。

  • a fierce attack/battle
    猛烈的进攻/激烈的战斗
  • Two men were shot during fierce fighting last weekend.
    上周末的激战中两人遭受枪击。

ruthless与cruel同义。强调为达到目的,对别人的痛苦毫无怜悯之心。

  • ruthless ambition
    冷酷无情的野心
  • a ruthless dictator
    残忍的独裁者
  • Some people believe that to succeed in this world you have to be ruthless.
    有些人认为,在这个世界上要想成功必须冷酷无情。