Dictionary

1savage

adjective sav·age \ˈsa-vij\

Definition of SAVAGE

1
a :  not domesticated or under human control :  untamed <savage beasts>
b :  lacking the restraints normal to civilized human beings :  fierce, ferocious <a savage criminal>
2
:  wild, uncultivated <seldom have I seen such savage scenery — Douglas Carruthers>
3
a :  boorish, rude <the savage bad manners of most motorists — M. P. O'Connor>
b :  malicious
4
:  lacking complex or advanced culture :  uncivilized <a savage country>
sav·age·ly adverb
sav·age·ness noun

Examples of SAVAGE

  1. He was the victim of a savage attack.
  2. The coast was lashed by savage storms.
  3. He wrote savage satires about people he didn't like.

Origin of SAVAGE

Middle English, from Anglo-French salvage, savage, from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration of Latin silvaticus of the woods, wild, from silva wood, forest
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of SAVAGE

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 SAVAGE

2savage

noun

Definition of SAVAGE

1
:  a person belonging to a primitive society
2
:  a brutal person
3
:  a rude or unmannerly person

Examples of SAVAGE

  1. What kind of savage could have committed such a terrible crime?
  2. <what kind of savage would hurt a baby?>

First Known Use of SAVAGE

15th century

Other Anthropology Terms

ectomorph, ethnography, prehistory, yurt

Rhymes with SAVAGE

3savage

transitive verb

: to attack or treat (someone or something) in a very cruel, violent, or harsh way

sav·agedsav·ag·ing

Full Definition of SAVAGE

:  to attack or treat brutally

Examples of SAVAGE

  1. He looked like he'd been savaged by a wild animal.
  2. A hurricane savaged the city.
  3. The newspapers savaged his reputation.

First Known Use of SAVAGE

1880

Savage

biographical name Sav·age \ˈsa-vij\

Definition of SAVAGE

Michael Joseph 1872–1940 prime min. of New Zealand (1935–40)
SAVAGE Defined for Kids

1savage

adjective sav·age \ˈsa-vij\

Definition of SAVAGE for Kids

1
:  not tamed :  wild <savage beasts>
2
:  being cruel and brutal :  fierce <a savage attack>
sav·age·ly adverb <They fought savagely.>

Word History of SAVAGE

In Latin the adjective silvaticus, (derived from the noun silva, forest) meant growing or living in the forest. Because forest life is wild rather than domesticated, the adjective easily took on the meaning wild in later Latin. Altered to salvaticus, the word passed into Old French as sauvage. When it was borrowed into Middle English, it kept the meanings wild, uncultivated (of fruit) and untamed (of animals). But sauvage could also be applied to humans, in which case its meanings could range from not civilized, barbarous to fierce, cruel. It is mainly the last sense that modern English savage brings to mind.

2savage

noun

Definition of SAVAGE for Kids

1
:  a person belonging to a group with a low level of civilization
2
:  a cruel or violent person

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June 30, 2015
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