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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 from the web for fierceness
  • Marines have a well-deserved reputation for fierceness and courage.
  • Unfortunately, the preservation of shared governance requires vigilance-and even fierceness-on the part of faculty members.
  • However, the great hammerhead's enormous size and fierceness make it potentially dangerous, though few attacks have been recorded.
  • While the reason for the ancient wars may be lost in the mists of time, the fierceness of the bloodshed is no longer in doubt.
  • The writing contests, whose winners get a private audience with the visiting author, are fought with special fierceness.
  • The fierceness and esprit in the military itself cannot compare.
  • The fierceness of that freedom was the fire in the breath and the neon in the blood of the dragon.
  • They protect this source of income with extreme fierceness.
  • Their fierceness in war and their political abilities fostered a constant expansion of their sphere of influence.
  • The destructive violence of this storm exceeds in its power, fierceness, and grandeur all other phenomena of the atmosphere.
British Dictionary definitions for fierceness

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 fierceness

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 fierceness

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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