as in aggressive
having or showing a bold forcefulness in the pursuit of a goal a social reformer of fierce and fearless determination

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms


Synonym Chooser

How is the word fierce different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of fierce are barbarous, cruel, ferocious, and savage. While all these words 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

Where would barbarous be a reasonable alternative to fierce?

While in some cases nearly identical to fierce, barbarous implies a ferocity or mercilessness regarded as unworthy of civilized people.

barbarous treatment of prisoners

When is it sensible to use cruel instead of fierce?

The meanings of cruel and fierce largely overlap; however, cruel implies indifference to suffering and even positive pleasure in inflicting it.

the cruel jokes of schoolboys

When would ferocious be a good substitute for fierce?

The synonyms ferocious and fierce are sometimes interchangeable, but ferocious implies extreme fierceness and unrestrained violence and brutality.

a ferocious dog

When can savage be used instead of fierce?

Although the words savage and fierce have much in common, savage implies the absence of inhibitions restraining civilized people filled with rage, lust, or other violent passion.

a savage criminal

Thesaurus Entries Near fierce

Cite this Entry

“Fierce.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on fierce

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