\ ˈfirs \
fiercer; fiercest

Definition of fierce 

1a : violently hostile or aggressive in temperament a fierce tiger

b : given to fighting or killing : pugnacious fierce fighters

2a : 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

5 informal : having or expressing bold confidence or style When it comes to celebrity fashion, while the looks are fierce they're not always attainable. —Marlen Komar

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from fierce

fierceness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of fierce in a Sentence

He was killed in a fierce battle. The proposal has faced fierce opposition. The two teams have had a fierce rivalry for many years. He's admired for his fierce independence. You could see the fierce determination in her eyes.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

At the last World Cup, Argentina fans arguably devised the catchiest song of the tournament, while taking the opportunity to poke fun at their fierce continental rival, Brazil. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "What are those songs fans are singing at the World Cup?," 10 July 2018 Chatman said in the news release that announced the signing that Pondexter was a fierce competitor who can play both guard positions, bring experience and showcase a mindset that will benefit the Fever. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Fever's Cappie Pondexter: 'I have a lot left in my tank'," 2 July 2018 Aquaria, known offstage as Giovanni Paladrani, has been a favorite to win for most of this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, as well as a fierce competitor. Nick Vadala,, "West Chester-born drag queen Aquaria wins 'RuPaul's Drag Race'," 29 June 2018 After all, Mexico is the U.S.’s fiercest soccer rival in the region—decades of hostility between the teams couldn’t simply be suspended for the summer. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The Question Dividing U.S. Soccer Fans: Is It OK to Root for Mexico?," 26 June 2018 One of the Dallas Cowboys' fiercest NFC East rivals is now dealing with what could be a serious situation with one of their top players. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Police found dead body in basement of this well-known Giants player, report says," 26 June 2018 Moreover, the Army and Air Force spent the next 15 years as fierce rivals—leading to duplication, waste, and the failure of the United States to launch a satellite before the Soviet Sputniks. Bryan Nakayama, Fortune, "3 Reasons Trump’s New Space Force Would Be a Disaster," 21 June 2018 The team, which has several players from Real Madrid as well as from its fierce rival in the Spanish league, Barcelona, had officially been told about Lopetegui only before a training session on Tuesday. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Spain Fires Coach Julen Lopetegui on Eve of World Cup," 13 June 2018 Habib's blacklisting underlines how fluid the relationships among Iraq, Iran and the United States can be, even though the latter two are fierce rivals. Tamer El-ghobashy, Washington Post, "U.S. financial sanctions on Iran net a freshly minted Iraqi lawmaker," 16 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of fierce

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fierce

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fierce

Phrases Related to fierce

something fierce

Statistics for fierce

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fierce

The first known use of fierce was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fierce



English Language Learners Definition of fierce

: very violent

: eager to fight or kill

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


\ ˈfirs \
fiercer; fiercest

Kids Definition of fierce

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

Other words from fierce

fiercely adverb
fierceness noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fierce

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!