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bru·tal·ize / ˈbroōtlˌīz/ • v. [tr.] attack (someone) in a savage and violent way: they brutalize and torture persons in their custody. ∎  (often be brutalized) desensitize (someone) to the pain or suffering of others by exposing them to violent behavior or situations: he had been brutalized in prison and became cynical | [as adj.] (brutalizing) the brutalizing effects of warfare. DERIVATIVES: bru·tal·i·za·tion / ˈbroōtliˈzāshən/ n.