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feral1

[feer-uh l, fer-] /ˈfɪər əl, ˈfɛr-/
adjective
1.
existing in a natural state, as animals or plants; not domesticated or cultivated; wild.
2.
having reverted to the wild state, as from domestication:
a pack of feral dogs roaming the woods.
3.
of or characteristic of wild animals; ferocious; brutal.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Medieval Latin, Late Latin ferālis bestial, wild, equivalent to Latin fer(a) wild beast + -ālis -al1

feral2

[feer-uh l, fer-] /ˈfɪər əl, ˈfɛr-/
adjective
1.
causing death; fatal.
2.
funereal; gloomy.
Origin
1615-25; < Latin fērālis of the dead, funerary, fatal
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for feral
  • In time, he was able to domesticate some feral cats, who served as companions and exterminators.
  • Some are wild, feral cats, whereas others are family pets that were let out of their homes at night.
  • These feral cats are slim, with long legs and tails, and have been recognized as a distinct breed.
  • His profile is vaguely feral, in a way that makes him look menacing without making him ugly.
  • At the farmhouse the air was thick with the stench-a feral smell, of wetness and organs and things rotting in the damp.
  • Goat gone feral comes in where the fence is open comes in and makes hay and nips the tree seedlings.
  • It was a gang of feral youths, almost none out of their teens, who went on a six-month pogrom.
  • But the feral wildness of the disciplined combatant never comes through.
  • Sugar was cute, but she had a mean, feral look in her eyes.
  • feral thugs and killer nerds rode the subway together, looking warily at one another.
British Dictionary definitions for feral

feral1

/ˈfɪərəl; ˈfɛr-/
adjective
1.
Also ferine. (of animals and plants) existing in a wild or uncultivated state, esp after being domestic or cultivated
2.
Also ferine. savage; brutal
3.
(Austral, derogatory, slang) (of a person) tending to be interested in environmental issues and having a rugged, unkempt appearance
noun
4.
(Austral, derogatory, slang) a person who displays such tendencies and appearance
5.
(Austral, slang) disgusting
6.
(Austral, slang) excellent
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin ferālis, from Latin fera a wild beast, from ferus savage

feral2

/ˈfɪərəl; ˈfɛr-/
adjective (archaic)
1.
(astrology) associated with death
2.
gloomy; funereal
Word Origin
C17: from Latin fērālis relating to corpses; perhaps related to ferre to carry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for feral
adj.

c.1600, from Middle French feral "wild," from Latin fera, in phrase fera bestia "wild animal," from ferus "wild" (see fierce).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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feral in Science
feral
  (fîr'əl, fěr'-)   
Existing in a wild or untamed state, either naturally or having returned to such a state from domestication.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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