adjective fe·ral \ˈfir-əl, ˈfer-; ˈfe-rəl\

: of, relating to, or resembling a wild beast

—used to describe an animal (such as a cat or dog) that has escaped and become wild

Full Definition of FERAL

:  of, relating to, or suggestive of a wild beast <feral teeth> <feral instincts>
a :  not domesticated or cultivated :  wild
b :  having escaped from domestication and become wild <feral cats>
feral noun

Examples of FERAL

  1. They led a feral existence.
  2. <animal experts discourage homeowners from trying to adopt feral animals as pets>

Origin of FERAL

Medieval Latin feralis, from Latin fera wild animal, from feminine of ferus wild — more at fierce
First Known Use: 1604

Synonym Discussion of FERAL

brutal, brutish, bestial, feral mean characteristic of an animal in nature, action, or instinct. brutal applies to people, their acts, or their words and suggests a lack of intelligence, feeling, or humanity <a senseless and brutal war>. brutish stresses likeness to an animal in low intelligence, in base appetites, and in behavior based on instinct <brutish stupidity>. bestial suggests a state of degradation unworthy of humans and fit only for beasts <bestial depravity>. feral suggests the savagery or ferocity of wild animals <the struggle to survive unleashed their feral impulses>.

Other Animal Husbandry Terms

apiary, bantam, calico, girth, hogwash, mast, rut

Rhymes with FERAL

FERAL Defined for Kids


adjective fe·ral \ˈfir-əl, ˈfer-\

Definition of FERAL for Kids

:  having escaped from the care of people and become wild <feral pigs>


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