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[feers] /fɪərs/
adjective, fiercer, fiercest.
menacingly wild, savage, or hostile:
fierce animals; a fierce look.
violent in force, intensity, etc.:
fierce winds.
furiously eager or intense:
fierce competition.
Informal. extremely bad or severe:
a fierce cold.
Origin of fierce
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
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.
1. tame, mild. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fierceness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And fierceness and faithfulness, together, invariably produce pride.

  • When a woman loves a fierce man she takes the risk of his fierceness.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • Then the woman, in the fierceness of her mood, turned her arms against her child.

    In Kings' Byways Stanley J. Weyman
  • It was the new Gospel against the old Law, and the fierceness of the struggle rent her.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • And she, in her fierceness and her shyness, was touched, and wondered greatly that any female thing could be thus good.

    Folle-Farine Ouida
British Dictionary definitions for fierceness


having a violent and unrestrained nature; savage: a fierce dog
wild or turbulent in force, action, or intensity: a fierce storm
vehement, intense, or strong: fierce competition
(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



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



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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