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

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World comes out February 22, and after the movie kids will once again be enamored by the world of fire-breathing dragons and ferocious vikings. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "The Hatching Baby Toothless Is the Perfect Gift For Your Aspiring Hiccup," 20 Feb. 2019 Scott Olson/Getty Images Barack Obama stepped back into the fray on Friday with a ferocious speech aimed squarely at not only his successor in the White House but the entire Republican Party. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The 7 most important moments in Obama’s blistering critique of Trump and the GOP," 7 Sep. 2018 The unexpected and ferocious Tet Offensive jolted American and South Vietnamese troops with blows that were bold, breathtaking and unexpectedly systematized. Alice George, Smithsonian, "This Fighter Jet Turned the Tide During Vietnam’s Decisive Tet Offensive," 23 Jan. 2018 That’s because the company is convinced that the rule is part of a plot by labor unions to win a ferocious organizing battle at Tesla’s auto factory in Fremont. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Why is Tesla fighting a rule that would force electric-car manufacturers to treat their workers well?," 15 June 2018 As a performer, Gabel is a ferocious presence with her stark, confrontational style. Britt Julious, chicagotribune.com, "Hide gets even more up close and personal," 8 Mar. 2018 That kind of ferocious press is exactly what WVU will need in hopes to upset No. John Lowe, The Seattle Times, "Mason scores 29, Baylor defeats West Virginia 85-73," 21 Jan. 2019 In other words, plying more air doesn't always equal more time, especially with a ferocious gale at your back. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018 Mark Ingram learned on Wednesday just how ferocious a security dog can be. Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com, "Watch Mark Ingram get taken down by Italian security dog," 4 Apr. 2018

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

11 Mar 2019

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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

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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