fe·​ro·​cious | \ fə-ˈrō-shəs How to pronounce ferocious (audio) \

Definition of ferocious

1 : exhibiting or given to extreme fierceness and unrestrained violence and brutality a ferocious predator the ferocious butchery of women and children
2 : extremely intense ferocious heat The competition among the students was ferocious.

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Other Words from ferocious

ferociously adverb
ferociousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of ferocious in a Sentence

A ferocious wind swept the beach. The competition among the students was ferocious.

Recent Examples on the Web

Auburn enters the 2019 season with as ferocious a defensive line as any, and Coe is part of the reason why. The Si Staff, SI.com, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2019: Nos. 50–26," 10 July 2019 The Blues, ferocious on the forecheck, had 43 shot attempts through two periods, but the Bruins blocked 12. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, "Patrice Bergeron lit a fire with his pregame speech, and the Bruins forced a Game 7," 10 June 2019 He was finally overwhelmed by a particularly ferocious pneumonia and died in February 1993. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Arthur Ashe’ Review: A Hard Road to Glory," 17 Aug. 2018 Rematches of particularly ferocious contests are often lesser versions of the originals. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "Here's what Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have to do differently in their rematch," 30 Jan. 2018 This ferocious little cutie was born at the Toledo Zoo on May 25. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Baby Snow Leopard Babs of the Toledo Zoo Is 2.5 Pounds of Fierceness," 12 June 2019 Wildfire season in Canada - at least as destructive as in the United States - is off to a ferocious start. Amanda Coletta, Anchorage Daily News, "Canada’s wildfire season is off to a ferocious start," 11 June 2019 His shriek was ferocious enough to make Janis Joplin briefly consider joining his band. Tom Maxwell, Longreads, "Remembering Roky Erickson," 7 June 2019 If his wife excels in her slavering devotion to the commander-in-chief, her spouse is just as ferocious in his condemnation of the president. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “This Is the End of My Presidency!”," 21 Apr. 2019

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

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First Known Use of ferocious

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ferocious

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

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Statistics for ferocious

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ferocious

The first known use of ferocious was in 1646

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More Definitions for ferocious



English Language Learners Definition of ferocious

: very fierce or violent
: very great or extreme


fe·​ro·​cious | \ fə-ˈrō-shəs How to pronounce ferocious (audio) \

Kids Definition of ferocious

: fierce sense 1, savage a ferocious storm a ferocious roar

Other Words from ferocious

ferociously adverb

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Comments on ferocious

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