adjective, fierc·er, fierc·est.
Origin of fierce
Examples from the Web for fierce
Throughout the fifties, in city after city, fluoridation became the subject of fierce debate.
They had also come “to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.”How Martin Luther King Jr. Influenced Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’|Peter Guralnick|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I so loved the fierce bodily contact of football that I suppose my enthusiasm made up somewhat for my lack of size.How His West Point Football Experience Inspired Eisenhower|Nicolaus Mills|November 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Their bodies would be discovered more than a month after they died, after fierce fighting in the African nation subsided.Caught: Female Assassin Who Allegedly Murdered Five American Nuns|Barbie Latza Nadeau|September 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In the midst of that fierce winter, Anna fell ill, developing a nasty, lingering cough.‘The Harness Maker’s Dream:’ The Unlikely Ranch King of Texas|Nick Kotz|September 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Other fierce battles were fought and numberless single combats, when the English never failed to come away victorious.The Golden Grasshopper|W.H.G. Kingston
The stare of the wretched creature deepened into a fierce and maddened glare.The Sword of Damocles|Anna Katharine Green
Her heart began to beat with the fierce impulse of resistance which she instinctively opposed to every imagined slight.Summer|Edith Wharton
A brief, fierce trial of strength and he found himself forced over the railing into the water.The Incendiary|W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
Mr. Carlaw sighed, and stretched out his hand toward his sister; showed his teeth in a fierce grin, and shook a fist at her.The Idol of The Blind|Tom Gallon
Word Origin for fierce
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.