feral

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

Definition of feral

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

feral

noun

Examples of feral in a Sentence

  1. They led a feral existence.

  2. animal experts discourage homeowners from trying to adopt feral animals as pets

Recent Examples of feral from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of feral

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

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


FERAL Defined for English Language Learners

feral

play
adjective

Definition of feral for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

feral

play
adjective fe·ral \ ˈfir-əl , ˈfer- \

Definition of feral for Students

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


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