fierce

[ feers ]
/ fɪərs /

adjective, fierc·er, fierc·est.

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.

Nearby words

  1. fiend,
  2. fiendish,
  3. fiendishly,
  4. fiennes,
  5. fier,
  6. fieri facias,
  7. fierstein,
  8. fiery,
  9. fiery cross,
  10. fiesole

Origin of fierce

1250–1300; Middle English fiers < Anglo-French fers, Old French fiers (nominative) < Latin ferus wild, fierce; cf. feral1, ferocious

SYNONYMS FOR fierce
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.

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fierce


British Dictionary definitions for fierce

fierce

/ (fɪəs) /

adjective

having a violent and unrestrained nature; savagea fierce dog
wild or turbulent in force, action, or intensitya fierce storm
vehement, intense, or strongfierce competition
informal very disagreeable or unpleasant
Derived Formsfiercely, adverbfierceness, noun

Word Origin for fierce

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

Word Origin and History for fierce

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