Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Existing in a wild or untamed state.
  • adjective Having returned to an untamed state from domestication.
  • adjective Of or suggestive of a wild animal; savage.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Funereal; pertaining to funerals; mournful; fatal; cruel.
  • Of or pertaining to wild beasts; wild; ferine; ferous; existing in a state of nature; not domesticated or artificially bred: as, the mallard is the feral stock of the domestic duck.
  • Run wild; having escaped from domestication and reverted to a state of nature.
  • Like a wild beast; characteristic of wild beasts; brutal; savage.
  • In astrology, said of a planet which has no significant relation to any other.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective rare Funereal; deadly; fatal; dangerous.
  • adjective (Bot. & Zoöl.) Wild; untamed; ferine; not domesticated; -- said of beasts, birds, and plants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Wild, untamed, especially of domesticated animals having returned to the wild.
  • adjective of a person Contemptible, unruly, misbehaved.
  • noun A domesticated animal that has returned to the wild; an animal, particularly a domesticated animal, living independently of humans.
  • noun Australia, colloquial A contemptible young person, a lout, a person who behaves wildly.
  • noun Australia, colloquial A person who has isolated themselves from the outside world; one living an alternative lifestyle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective wild and menacing

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Latin fera, wild animal, from ferus, wild; see ghwer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin ferus ("wild").

Examples

  • As Hélène Mulholland reports, Godwin told the London assembly that "the fact that the term feral is still being used in terms of young people in our inner city … is a great challenge to us as a city."

    The Guardian World News

  • The use of the term "feral" was first used in about 2000 following the death of Damilola Taylor.

    The Guardian World News

  • The use of the term "feral" was first used in about 2000 following the death of Damilola Taylor.

    The Guardian World News

  • Colonel Hamilton Smith, the able writer on dogs, does not acknowledge some of these wild races, but thinks they are what he calls feral, or domestic dogs which have regained their liberty, and have subsisted for many generations on their own intelligence.

    Anecdotes of the Habits and Instinct of Animals

  • Normally the word feral refers to a domestic animal that has gone wild, but it’s also used to describe people the general populace believes have done the same.

    Surviving Australia

  • Normally the word feral refers to a domestic animal that has gone wild, but it’s also used to describe people the general populace believes have done the same.

    Surviving Australia

  • Normally the word feral refers to a domestic animal that has gone wild, but it’s also used to describe people the general populace believes have done the same.

    Surviving Australia

  • He is and has for many years been engaged in feral cat rescue; I have seen him stop on the street to give a homeless man money -- and an argument, because with Peter, everything comes with an argument.

    we get letters

  • There was a little fly in our bungalow that I adopted and named Wings, and I called the feral cat that howled for food Legs.

    HIGH ON ARRIVAL

  • Let the kids wander the streets in feral fashion for a few years and then when they are fully human they can go back to the classroom.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Trouble With Marriage

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