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fierce

[feers] /fɪərs/
adjective, fiercer, fiercest.
1.
menacingly wild, savage, or hostile:
fierce animals; a fierce look.
2.
violent in force, intensity, etc.:
fierce winds.
3.
furiously eager or intense:
fierce competition.
4.
Informal. extremely bad or severe:
a fierce cold.
Origin of fierce
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English fiers < Anglo-French fers, Old French fiers (nominative) < Latin ferus wild, fierce; cf. feral1, ferocious
Related forms
fiercely, adverb
fierceness, noun
overfierce, adjective
overfiercely, adverb
overfierceness, noun
unfierce, adjective
unfiercely, adjective
Synonyms
1. untamed; cruel, fell, brutal; barbarous, bloodthirsty, murderous. Fierce, ferocious, truculent suggest vehemence and violence of temper, manner, or action: fierce in repelling a foe. Ferocious implies fierceness or cruelty, especially of a bloodthirsty kind, in disposition or action: a ferocious glare; ferocious brutality toward helpless refugees. Truculent suggests an intimidating or bullying fierceness of manner or conduct: His truculent attitude kept them terrified and submissive. 2, 3. furious, passionate, turbulent.
Antonyms
1. tame, mild.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fiercely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “I know not what stays my hand,” rejoined Guy Fawkes, fiercely.

    Guy Fawkes William Harrison Ainsworth
  • "Often enough," he said fiercely, and he thought of his drunken father.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • "We will give him a warm reception if he comes," replied Paslew, fiercely.

    The Lancashire Witches William Harrison Ainsworth
  • And fiercely in a bewildered way I rebelled against this emptiness.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • How fiercely, devoutly wild is Nature in the midst of her beauty-loving tenderness!

British Dictionary definitions for fiercely

fierce

/fɪəs/
adjective
1.
having a violent and unrestrained nature; savage: a fierce dog
2.
wild or turbulent in force, action, or intensity: a fierce storm
3.
vehement, intense, or strong: fierce competition
4.
(informal) very disagreeable or unpleasant
Derived Forms
fiercely, adverb
fierceness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fiers, from Latin ferus
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 fiercely

fierce

adj.

mid-13c., "proud, noble, bold," from Old French fers, nominative form of fer, fier "strong, overwhelming, violent, fierce, wild; proud, mighty, great, impressive" (Modern French fier "proud, haughty"), from Latin ferus "wild, untamed," from PIE root *ghwer- "wild, wild animal" (cf. Greek ther, Old Church Slavonic zveri, Lithuanian zveris "wild beast").

Original English sense of "brave, proud" died out 16c., but caused the word at first to be commonly used as an epithet, which accounts for the rare instance of a French word entering English in the nominative case. Meaning "ferocious, wild, savage" is from c.1300. Related: Fiercely; fierceness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fiercely

fierce

adjective

Nasty; unpleasant; awful: Gee, it was fierce of me (1903+)

Related Terms

something fierce

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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