Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

ferocious

play
adjective fe·ro·cious \fə-ˈrō-shəs\

Simple Definition of ferocious

  • : very fierce or violent

  • : very great or extreme

Full Definition of ferocious

  1. 1 :  exhibiting or given to extreme fierceness and unrestrained violence and brutality <a ferocious predator>

  2. 2 :  extremely intense <ferocious heat>

fe·ro·cious·ly adverb
fe·ro·cious·ness noun

Examples of ferocious

  1. A ferocious wind swept the beach.

  2. The competition among the students was ferocious.



Origin of ferocious

Latin feroc-, ferox, literally, fierce looking, from ferus + -oc-, -ox (akin to Greek ōps eye) — more at eye


First Known Use: 1646

Synonym Discussion of ferocious

fierce, ferocious, barbarous, savage, cruel mean showing fury or malignity in looks or actions. fierce applies to humans and animals that inspire terror because of their wild and menacing aspect or fury in attack <fierce warriors>. ferocious implies extreme fierceness and unrestrained violence and brutality <a ferocious dog>. barbarous implies a ferocity or mercilessness regarded as unworthy of civilized people <barbarous treatment of prisoners>. savage implies the absence of inhibitions restraining civilized people filled with rage, lust, or other violent passion <a savage criminal>. cruel implies indifference to suffering and even positive pleasure in inflicting it <the cruel jokes of schoolboys>.

Rhymes with ferocious


FEROCIOUS Defined for Kids

ferocious

play
adjective fe·ro·cious \fə-ˈrō-shəs\

Definition of ferocious

  1. :  fierce 1, savage <a ferocious storm> <a ferocious roar>

fe·ro·cious·ly adverb




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ferocious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez spindrift duvet kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ