sav·​age·​ry | \ ˈsa-vij-rē How to pronounce savagery (audio) , -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 Detroit riots were so intense that 43 people died and LBJ had to call in the 101st Airborne to quell the savagery from both police and rioters. Fred Siegel, National Review, "The Forgotten Failures of the Great Society," 9 Jan. 2020 As The Report takes great pains to emphasize, not a single bit of actionable intelligence came out of any of this savagery. David Klion, The New Republic, "The Heavy Burden of The Report," 12 Dec. 2019 Its extreme savagery in Mexico includes beheadings, public hangings, acid baths, even cannibalism. Beth Warren,, "A ruthless Mexican drug lord’s empire is devastating families with its grip on small-town USA," 25 Nov. 2019 Could this courtly gentleman really be capable of brutal savagery? Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "What if you saw something suspicious and did nothing? ‘The Lodger’ posits a consequence.," 21 Aug. 2019 Absentee fathers, no parental discipline, disrespect for police officers and just plan savagery are the explanations tossed around most often. Dahleen Glanton,, "Column: Does Mayor Lightfoot think Chicago’s gun violence is as much a public health crisis as the opioid epidemic? If so, she’s right.," 25 June 2019 The savagery of Jamal’s killing pained anyone with a conscience. Hatice Cengiz, Time, "Jamal Khashoggi Was My Fiancé. A Year After His Murder, I'm Still Fighting for Justice," 2 Oct. 2019 In the accounts of his former lovers, who include a teen-age schoolmate and a woman with a newly empty nest, Nishino embodies both courtesy and savagery, honesty and infidelity. Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted Book Reviews," 24 Sep. 2019 That is, other than the major savagery that is Sel's song about Justin. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Hailey Baldwin Denies Threatening to "Kill" Selena Gomez," 23 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for savagery

Time Traveler

The first known use of savagery was circa 1616

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Statistics for savagery

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Savagery.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for savagery


How to pronounce savagery (audio)

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 How to pronounce savagery (audio) \
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

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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