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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
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. 2014.
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Examples for fiercely
  • Were the egg to bounce free, she would fiercely peck and break it.
  • As it is, they often dare not, because it is too fiercely resisted by the tenured faculty.
  • Existing incendiaries tend to burn fiercely but quickly.
  • Others form tight settlements and are fiercely loyal to a single fat queen.
  • The brave dog, barking fiercely, caught up to the quick-moving attacker and chased the fox away.
  • Owls are powerful birds and fiercely protective parents.
  • Fortunately, king cobras are shy and will avoid humans whenever possible, but they are fiercely aggressive when cornered.
  • The daddy water bug fiercely protects his eggs and periodically exposes them to air to prevent them from growing mold.
  • They're common, fiercely territorial, and they've been the subject of evolutionary and ecological research for decades.
  • Later that night, she was awakened by fiercely loud music from the stereo.
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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