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

  • adjective Not domesticated or cultivated; wild.
  • adjective Not civilized; barbaric.
  • adjective Vicious or merciless; brutal.
  • adjective Characterized by or showing hostility; unforgiving.
  • adjective Extreme in strength or degree.
  • noun A member of a people regarded as primitive, uncivilized, brutal, or fierce.
  • transitive verb To assault ferociously.
  • transitive verb To attack without restraint or pity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make wild, barbarous, or cruel.
  • To act the savage; indulge in cruel or barbarous deeds.
  • 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.
  • noun A wild or uncivilized human being; a member of a race or tribe in the lowest stage of development or cultivation.
  • noun An unfeeling, brutal, or cruel person; a fierce or cruel man or woman, whether civilized or uncivilized; a barbarian.
  • noun A wild or fierce animal.
  • noun Same as jack of the clock. See jack.

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

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

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

  • adjective wild; not cultivated
  • adjective barbaric; not civilized
  • adjective fierce and ferocious
  • adjective brutal, vicious, or merciless
  • adjective UK, slang unpleasant or unfair
  • noun pejorative An uncivilized or feral human; a barbarian.
  • noun figuratively A defiant person.
  • verb To attack or assault someone or something ferociously or without restraint.
  • verb figuratively To criticise vehemently.
  • verb of an animal To attack with the teeth
  • verb obsolete, transitive To make savage.

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

  • adjective without civilizing influences
  • verb criticize harshly or violently
  • verb attack brutally and fiercely
  • noun a cruelly rapacious person


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