adjective \ ˈfirs \
|Updated on: 10 Jul 2018

Definition of fierce

fiercer; fiercest
1 a : violently hostile or aggressive in temperament
  • a fierce tiger
b : given to fighting or killing : pugnacious
  • fierce fighters
2 a : marked by unrestrained zeal or vehemence
  • a fierce argument
b : extremely vexatious, disappointing, or intense
  • fierce pain
3 : furiously active or determined
  • make a fierce effort
4 : wild or menacing in appearance



Examples of fierce in a Sentence

  1. He was killed in a fierce battle.

  2. The proposal has faced fierce opposition.

  3. The two teams have had a fierce rivalry for many years.

  4. He's admired for his fierce independence.

  5. You could see the fierce determination in her eyes.

Recent Examples of fierce from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of fierce

Middle English fiers, from Anglo-French fer, fers, fiers, from Latin ferus wild, savage; akin to Greek thēr wild animal

Synonym Discussion of fierce

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

FIERCE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of fierce for English Language Learners

  • : very violent

  • : eager to fight or kill

  • : having or showing a lot of strong emotion : very strong or intense

FIERCE Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈfirs \

Definition of fierce for Students

fiercer; fiercest
1 : likely to attack
  • a fierce animal
2 : having or showing very great energy or enthusiasm
  • She plays the game with fierce determination.
3 : wild or threatening in appearance
  • He brandished a fierce sword.
4 : characterized by extreme force, intensity, or anger
  • a fierce fight
  • fierce winds





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peaceful, happy, or prosperous

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