Definitions

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

  • noun The state of being wild or untamed.
  • noun The state of being savage; ferocity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Wildness; savageness; cruelty.

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

  • noun obsolete Wildness; savageness; fierceness.

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

  • noun The quality or fact of being wild or in a wild state; wildness, brutishness.

Etymologies

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

[Latin feritās, from ferus, wild; see feral.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin feritatem, from ferus ‘wild’.

Examples

  • He finds wildness not only in the woods, but in such literary works as Hamlet and the Iliad; and even in certain forms of society: “The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet”

    Transcendentalism

  • To burn the bones of the king of Edom for lime, + seems no irrational ferity; but to drink of the ashes of dead relations, + a passionate prodigality.

    Hydriotaphia, or Urn-burial

  • The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.

    Walking

  • The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.

    Harvard Classics Volume 28 Essays English and American

  • To burn the bones of the King of Edom for lime seems no irrational ferity: but to store the back volumes of Mr Bottomley’s John Bull a passionate prodigality.

    XI. Of Selection

  • The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.

    Walking

  • The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.

    Walking [1862]

  • Edom for lime seems no irrational ferity: but to store the back volumes of Mr Bottomley's "John Bull" a passionate prodigality. '

    On The Art of Reading

  • Its wild, demoniac laughter awakens the echoes on the solitary lakes, and its ferity and hardiness are kindred to those robust spirits.

    Birds and Poets : with Other Papers

  • Especially when I read of the adventures of Russian and Polish exiles in Siberia -- men of aristocratic lineage wandering amid snow and arctic cold, sleeping on rocks or in hollow trees, and holding their own, empty-handed, against hunger and frost and their fiercer brute embodiments do I recognize a hardihood and a ferity whose wet-nurse, ages back, may well have been this gray slut of the woods.

    Winter Sunshine

Comments

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  • Though wise men maintain it’s a verity

    That rudeness and insult are ferity,

    With those who won’t see

    What’s plain villainy

    The sages permit some asperity.

    August 25, 2018