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

  • adj. Not domesticated or cultivated; wild: savage beasts of the jungle.
  • adj. Not civilized; barbaric: a people living in a savage state.
  • adj. Ferocious; fierce: in a savage temper.
  • adj. Vicious or merciless; brutal: a savage attack on a political rival. See Synonyms at cruel.
  • adj. Lacking polish or manners; rude.
  • n. A person regarded as primitive or uncivilized.
  • n. A person regarded as brutal, fierce, or vicious.
  • transitive v. To assault ferociously.
  • transitive v. To attack without restraint or pity: The critics savaged the new play.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. wild; not cultivated
  • adj. barbaric; not civilized
  • adj. fierce and ferocious
  • adj. brutal, vicious, or merciless
  • adj. unpleasant or unfair
  • n. An uncivilized or feral human; a barbarian.
  • n. A defiant person.
  • v. To attack or assault someone or something ferociously or without restraint.
  • v. To criticise vehemently.
  • v. To attack with the teeth
  • v. To make savage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the forest; remote from human abodes and cultivation; in a state of nature; wild.
  • adj. Wild; untamed; uncultivated.
  • adj. Uncivilized; untaught; unpolished; rude.
  • adj. Characterized by cruelty; barbarous; fierce; ferocious; inhuman; brutal.
  • n. A human being in his native state of rudeness; one who is untaught, uncivilized, or without cultivation of mind or manners.
  • n. A man of extreme, unfeeling, brutal cruelty; a barbarian.
  • transitive v. To make savage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to the forest or wilderness.
  • Possessing, characterized by, or presenting the wildness of the forest or wilderness.
  • Living in the forests or wilds.
  • Not domesticated; feral; wild; hence, fierce; ferocious; untamed: as, savage beasts of prey.
  • Brutal; beastly.
  • Living in the lowest condition of development; uncultivated and wild; uncivilized: as, savage tribes.
  • Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of man in such a condition; unpolished; rude: as, savage life or manners.
  • Barbarous; fierce; cruel.
  • Wild or enraged as from provocation, irritation, restraint, etc.
  • In heraldry, nude; naked; in blazonry, noting human figures unclothed, as the supporters of the arms of Prussia.
  • Synonyms and Brutish, heathenish.
  • Pitiless, merciless, unmerciful, remorseless, bloody, murderous.
  • n. A wild or uncivilized human being; a member of a race or tribe in the lowest stage of development or cultivation.
  • n. An unfeeling, brutal, or cruel person; a fierce or cruel man or woman, whether civilized or uncivilized; a barbarian.
  • n. A wild or fierce animal.
  • n. Same as jack of the clock. See jack.
  • To make wild, barbarous, or cruel.
  • To act the savage; indulge in cruel or barbarous deeds.

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

  • adj. without civilizing influences
  • v. criticize harshly or violently
  • v. attack brutally and fiercely
  • n. a cruelly rapacious person
  • adj. marked by extreme and violent energy
  • n. a member of an uncivilized people
  • adj. wild and menacing
  • adj. (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering


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

Middle English sauvage, from Old French, from Late Latin salvāticus, from Latin silvāticus, of the woods, wild, from silva, forest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French sauvage, salvage ("wild, savage, untamed"), from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration of Latin silvaticus ("wild"; literally, "of the woods"), from silva ("forest", "grove").



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  • "like being savaged by a dead sheep" -- British political insult

    December 28, 2008