fu·​ry | \ ˈfyu̇r-ē How to pronounce fury (audio) , ˈfyər- \
plural furies

Definition of fury

1 : intense, disordered, and often destructive rage
2a capitalized : any of the avenging deities in Greek mythology who torment criminals and inflict plagues
b : an avenging spirit
c : one who resembles an avenging spirit especially : a spiteful woman
3 : extreme fierceness or violence
4 : a state of inspired exaltation : frenzy

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Choose the Right Synonym for fury

anger, ire, rage, fury, indignation, wrath mean an intense emotional state induced by displeasure. anger, the most general term, names the reaction but by itself does not convey cause or intensity. tried to hide his anger ire, more frequent in literary contexts, suggests an intense anger, often with an evident display of feeling. cheeks flushed with ire rage and fury suggest loss of self-control from violence of emotion. shook with rage could not contain his fury indignation stresses righteous anger at what one considers unfair, mean, or shameful. a comment that caused general indignation wrath is likely to suggest a desire or intent to punish or get revenge. I feared her wrath if I was discovered

Dire Straits and Furies

Dire and fury share a history in Roman mythology, as each of these words is connected to the Erinyes, the avenging and terrifying deities of ancient myth who tormented criminals. The Romans referred to these goddesses as either the Dirae or the Furiae. The former is from the Latin word dirus, from which dire is descended, and the latter comes from furere, from where we get fury. The word dire is often found in conjunction with straits; in dire straits is used of a situation that is very bad or difficult. Our records indicate that this phrase began to be used in English at the end of the 18th century, when it appeared in Francis Fawkes’s The Argonautics of Apollonius Rhodius: “When now the heroes through the vast profound, Reach the dire straits with rocks encompass’d round.”

Examples of fury in a Sentence

I could see the fury in her eyes. Nothing could contain his fury over their accusations. He turned away from them in fury. The hurricane unleashed its fury on hundreds of homes and businesses.
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Recent Examples on the Web French officials reacted with fury and called for a meeting next with Sanofi officials. Ed Silverman, STAT, "WHO embraces plan for Covid-19 intellectual property pool," 15 May 2020 Democrats reacted with fury, accusing Mr. Barr of undermining the rule of law, and on Friday all 24 of them on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general asking for an investigation. Katie Benner, New York Times, "Dropping of Flynn Case Heightens Fears of Justice Dept. Politicization," 8 May 2020 Authors and publishers reacted with fury to the Internet Archive's unlimited online lending program. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "University libraries offer online “lending” of scanned in-copyright books," 7 Apr. 2020 And both rooks are likewise staring down Stockfish’s defense with unholy fury. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "AI Is Now the Undisputed Champion of Computer Chess," 23 Feb. 2020 Meanwhile, the same media cycle that aided Flack's rise to fame was condemned for tearing her down in her final months, and many reacted with fury as tabloids like The Sun moved swiftly to delete previous negative articles about the star. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Caroline Flack, 'Love Island,' and the industry of outrage surrounding the star's death," 17 Feb. 2020 Instead, the enemy, 21,000 strong, responded with unexpected fury, picking off Marines seemingly at will from a complex network of tunnels. Joe Rosenthal, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 14 Feb. 2020 Democrats reacted with fury over the Justice Department's willingness to examine material about Ukraine and the Bidens, accusing the administration of once again targeting the president's political rivals based on spurious allegations. Catherine Herridge And Clare Hymes, CBS News, "Justice Department has been reviewing Ukraine material for "several weeks," source says," 11 Feb. 2020 Speaker Nancy Pelosi compulsively worked her teeth with lips and tongue, her fidgeting countenance alive with fury. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The State of Our Union Is . . . Entertaining," 5 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fury.' 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 fury

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fury

Middle English furie, from Latin furia, from furere to rage

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Time Traveler for fury

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fury

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for fury


How to pronounce fury (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fury

: violent anger
: wild and dangerous force


fu·​ry | \ ˈfyu̇r-ē How to pronounce fury (audio) \
plural furies

Kids Definition of fury

1 : violent anger : rage
2 : wild and dangerous force the fury of the storm

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More from Merriam-Webster on fury

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fury

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fury

Spanish Central: Translation of fury

Nglish: Translation of fury for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fury for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fury

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