sav·​age·​ry | \ ˈsa-vij-rē , -vi-jə-\
plural savageries

Definition of savagery

1a : the quality of being savage
b : an act of cruelty or violence
2 : an uncivilized state

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Examples of savagery in a Sentence

The savagery of the attack was horrifying. an act of pure savagery the savageries committed by the soldiers
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Recent Examples on the Web

The first episode of HBO's eight-part adaptation of this book, My Brilliant Friend, is faithful to this framing device, placing Lenù and her closest friend Lila in a community ravaged by grotesque, often unexpected displays of savagery. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 And yet there was an underlying imperialist savagery, seen in the bloody suppression of the Indian Mutiny of 1857, combined with cynicism. Geoffrey Wheatcroft, New York Times, "A History of the British Empire at Its Peak," 30 Mar. 2018 An astonishing collection of laughs — whinnies, giggles, squeals, snorts, heaves — gradually colors the narrative, until this seemingly harmless man becomes, in effect, not just a witness to savagery, but also an accessory. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Surprise Lessons From John Lithgow’s ‘Stories by Heart’," 11 Jan. 2018 There was some clarity Thursday from Larry Peterson, the GBI crime scene analyst who was there in 1983 and recalled from his own notes the savagery of the crime. Christian Boone, ajc, "Damaged evidence, shifty witnesses mark truck-dragging murder trial," 21 June 2018 Notorious for his misogyny, Mr Duterte excoriates female critics with particular savagery. The Economist, "A new book explores the myths and reality of Rodrigo Duterte’s life," 21 June 2018 But in the post-equality era, the play stands as a compelling portrayal of internecine savagery bred by the stigma of isolation and oppression, by turns bitingly funny and moving. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Boys in the Band': Theater Review," 1 June 2018 When the dictators lost their grips, countries across the region imploded, loosing savagery and suffering that still burns on. Dexter Filkins, New York Times, "Why Libya Continues to Burn," 18 May 2018 In America, dirt racing is very aggressive at the best of times but when the weather goes like that, the aggression turns into nearly savagery. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Michigan coach's athlete payment plan to invest in stocks has its holes," 12 May 2018

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

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for savagery

Last Updated

23 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for savagery

The first known use of savagery was circa 1616

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More Definitions for savagery



English Language Learners Definition of savagery

: a cruel or violent quality : a savage quality
: a cruel or violent act or action


sav·​age·​ry | \ ˈsa-vij-rē \
plural savageries

Kids Definition of savagery

1 : an uncivilized condition or character
2 : an act of cruelty or violence

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More from Merriam-Webster on savagery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for savagery

Spanish Central: Translation of savagery

Nglish: Translation of savagery for Spanish Speakers

Comments on savagery

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irregularly rounded

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