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[fuh-roh-shuh s] /fəˈroʊ ʃəs/
savagely fierce, as a wild beast, person, action, or aspect; violently cruel:
a ferocious beating.
extreme or intense:
a ferocious thirst.
Origin of ferocious
1640-50; < Latin ferōc-, stem of ferōx savage, fierce (fer(us) wild (see feral1, fierce) + -ōx having such an appearance; akin to -opsis) + -ious
Related forms
ferociously, adverb
ferociousness, noun
nonferocious, adjective
nonferociously, adverb
nonferociousness, noun
unferocious, adjective
unferociously, adverb
1. rapacious. See fierce. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ferociously
  • During his first year or so of life he fights for bodily nutriment, almost ferociously.
  • Society punished it ferociously and justly, in self-defence.
  • They are the only snakes in the world that build nests for their eggs, which they guard ferociously until the hatchlings emerge.
  • When matched with a new lobster, he fought ferociously.
  • It had rained during the night, so the river dashed ferociously through the gap.
  • Legalizing payment for organs is a ferociously controversial topic in the organ world.
  • In the past year or so it has been both biting more ferociously and barking more loudly.
  • His early letters to his parents have a ferociously self-righteous directness.
  • Both were out on a limb, ferociously challenging the slovenly relativism of everyone else.
  • Economists argue ferociously about how close this is to being true.
British Dictionary definitions for ferociously


savagely fierce or cruel: a ferocious tiger, a ferocious argument
Derived Forms
ferociously, adverb
ferocity (fəˈrɒsɪtɪ), ferociousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin ferox fierce, untamable, warlike
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ferociously



1640s, from Latin ferocis, oblique case of ferox "fierce, wild-looking" (see ferocity). Related: Ferociously; ferociousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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