feral

adjective
fe·​ral | \ ˈfir-əl How to pronounce feral (audio) , ˈfer-; ˈfe-rəl How to pronounce feral (audio) \

Definition of feral

1 : of, relating to, or suggestive of a wild beast feral teeth feral instincts
2a : not domesticated or cultivated : wild feral animals
b : having escaped from domestication and become wild feral cats

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from feral

feral noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of feral in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Nations such as France and the U.S. have to deal with large-scale damage to agriculture wrought by feral pigs, largely appealing to hunters as a solution. Alice Fung, The Seattle Times, "In year of the pig, Hong Kong has had enough of wild ones," 6 Feb. 2019 Around 50,000 to 70,000 feral horses roam the Navajo Nation, according to a statement from his office. Alex Devoid, azcentral, "Volunteers care for Navajo wild horses during drought, despite overpopulation concerns," 13 July 2018 Tribal officials estimate tens of thousands of feral horses on the Navajo Nation, the country's largest reservation spanning 27,000 square miles (69,929.679 square kilometers) in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. CBS News, "Nearly 200 horses found dead amid Southwest drought in Arizona," 6 May 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Banker horses, as they are called, are a a breed of feral horses that live on Outer Banks areas of Ocracoke, Shackleford and Currituck Banks. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Small herd of wild horses on NC barrier island welcomes an addition to the family | Charlotte Observer," 4 May 2018 Doubling down on the glamour, Boyd’s look was the perfect counterpart to Harrison, with his unkempt dark shag and feral brows. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Rock Star Wife’s Bridal Beauty Set the Bar for a City Hall Ceremony," 21 Jan. 2019 Their idyll is interrupted when a feral and mysterious 14-year-old girl shoots their cattle dead, sending Wyatt Smith into Utah's hyper-violent crime underworld to find her. refinery29.com, "How Rae DelBianco Went From Cattle Farmer To Bookstagram Queen To Literary Darling — All By 25," 13 July 2018 Cézanne himself, in self-portraits, is very present, looking alternately feral and professorial. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Recent studies suggest that in the United States alone, outdoor and feral cats kill 2.4 billion birds per year and as many as 12.3 billion small mammals. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Australian Feral Cats Eat More Than a Million Reptiles Per Day," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of feral

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for feral

Medieval Latin feralis, from Latin fera wild animal, from feminine of ferus wild — more at fierce

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about feral

Dictionary Entries near feral

Ferae

ferae naturae

Feraghan

feral

Feralia

ferash

ferbam

Statistics for feral

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for feral

The first known use of feral was in 1604

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for feral

feral

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of feral

: 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

feral

adjective
fe·​ral | \ ˈfir-əl How to pronounce feral (audio) , ˈfer-\

Kids Definition of feral

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on feral

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with feral

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for feral

Nglish: Translation of feral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of feral for Arabic Speakers

Comments on feral

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

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!