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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ferociously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the meantime, the wounded beast was snapping and snarling most ferociously.

  • It was the terrier who had ferociously attacked the lion, and the lion was charmed.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • Society punished it ferociously and justly, in self-defence.

  • Adam spun on him ferociously, raising a heavy hand in threat.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • They came at us ferociously, and nearly broke through our line.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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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