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 There was something about just seeing him, bear-like, wrapped around his cello, embracing it, smothering it with a love both protective and ferocious. Los Angeles Times, "Appreciation: Remembering Lynn Harrell, the singing cellist," 1 May 2020 There is Amy Lee’s voice, somewhere between ferocious and hymnal. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Rolling Stones Still Miss You, and 13 More New Songs," 24 Apr. 2020 You're left longing for the way a V-8 can be mellow one minute and ferocious the next. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "Tested: Porsche's Panamera GTS Is All About the V-8," 18 Mar. 2020 An international team of paleontologists says that 100 million years ago, ferocious predators such as flying reptiles and crocodile-hunters made the Sahara no place for the faint-hearted. Fox News, "'The most dangerous place in the history of planet earth' revealed," 28 Apr. 2020 William was a World War II veteran who would regale his son, Richard, with stories of storming Omaha Beach and ferocious battles in Belgium and Holland. courier-journal.com, "Those we've lost to the coronavirus in Kentucky and Southern Indiana," 10 Apr. 2020 The first season finale of this globe-trotting nature show takes us to Africa for a close look at its wildlife, with scenes highlighting hippos in need of water and ferocious battles between giraffes. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Saturday: ‘S.N.L.’ and Young Dylan," 29 Feb. 2020 And then Mother Nature decided to play ferocious defense, unleashing winds gusting to 30 mph. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Phil Mickelson wastes chance to win at Pebble Beach, falls to Nick Taylor," 9 Feb. 2020 Kansas City is winning games behind its suddenly ferocious defense, which has held the last two opponents without a touchdown and the past five opponents to a total of 48 points. oregonlive, "Kansas City vs Los Angeles Chargers: Live score updates, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online," 29 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for ferocious

Time Traveler

The first known use of ferocious was in 1646

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Statistics for ferocious

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ferocious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ferocious. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for ferocious


How to pronounce ferocious (audio)

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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