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

  • adjective Hostile and violent, especially by nature or temperament; ferocious.
  • adjective Characterized by or showing hostility.
  • adjective Extremely powerful or destructive.
  • adjective Intense in activity or feeling; vigorous or ardent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Wild, as a beast; savage; ferocious; having a cruel or rapacious disposition or intention: as, a fierce lion; a fierce pursuer.
  • Ferocious in quality or manifestation; indicating or marked by savage cruelty or rage.
  • Violent; vehement; impetuous; passionate; ardent.
  • Wild; disordered; dreadful.
  • Strong; powerful.
  • Great; large (of number).
  • Brisk; lively.
  • Sudden; precipitate.
  • =Syn. 1–3. Infuriate, fell, fiery, passionate, barbarous, rapacious, ravenous.

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

  • adjective Furious; violent; unrestrained; impetuous.
  • adjective Vehement in anger or cruelty; ready or eager to kill or injure; of a nature to inspire terror; ferocious.
  • adjective Excessively earnest, eager, or ardent.

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

  • adjective Extremely violent, severe, ferocious or savage.
  • adjective Resolute or strenuously active.
  • adjective Threatening in appearance or demeanor.
  • adjective slang, Ireland, rural very, excellent.
  • adjective slang, US Of exceptional quality, exhibiting boldness or chutzpah.

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

  • adjective ruthless in competition
  • adjective marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid
  • adjective violently agitated and turbulent
  • adjective marked by extreme and violent energy


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

[Middle English fiers, from Old French, from Latin ferus; see ghwer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French fers ("wild", "ferocious"), from Latin ferus ("wild", "untamed")


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  • I love the way that the "f" and the "i" collide in some fonts, and I love noticing whether they do in whatever font I'm reading. (Not in the font!)

    June 17, 2009

  • Then you might enjoy this page about typographic ligatures, fc.

    June 17, 2009

  • Huh, 6 days ago I observed that 'fluffiness' has two ligatures (in proper print), and coincidentally used the word 'decline'.

    June 17, 2009

  • Fascinating article, skip--thanks! I had no idea that the ampersand began life as a ligature.

    June 17, 2009

  • That was news to me too, rt.

    June 17, 2009