- fierce, ferocious, or cruel; untamed: savage beasts.
- uncivilized; barbarous: savage tribes.
- enraged or furiously angry, as a person.
- unpolished; rude: savage manners.
- wild or rugged, as country or scenery: savage wilderness.
- Archaic. uncultivated; growing wild.
- an uncivilized human being.
- a fierce, brutal, or cruel person.
- a rude, boorish person.
- a member of a preliterate society.
- to assault and maul by biting, rending, goring, etc.; tear at or mutilate: numerous sheep savaged by dogs.
- to attack or criticize thoroughly or remorselessly; excoriate: a play savaged by the critics.
Origin of savage
SynonymsSee more synonyms for savage on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for savages
He was wonderful, with Laura Linney, as a burdened brother and sister looking after an ailing parent in The Savages (2007).Philip Seymour Hoffman: An Actor First
February 2, 2014
His father cheered, his mother wept, and the world saw that contrary to popular belief, Palestinians are not savages.Mohammed Assaf: From Underdog to Idol
June 25, 2013
NB: I'm totally guilty of much of what Nolan savages in his short essay.Let's Chill Out on the First Person, Journalists
January 2, 2013
In his new film, Savages, pot growers who enrage a drug cartel, are the protagonists.Oliver Stone: Seven Drug Movies
July 17, 2012
In their oath of vengeance, the Taliban called us “sick-minded American savages.”U.S. Soldier Afghan Rampage Tears at Our National Soul, Says Former Marine
March 16, 2012
From savages one cannot expect too much, not even from oneself.The Conquest of Fear
The very drunk have the intuition sometimes of savages or brute beasts.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
The savages instantly appeared, and applied their tomahawks to the door.The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone
"These savages have their own way of making war," I answered, calmly.
The children's children of these savages were still in the Valley.
- wild; untamedsavage beasts of the jungle
- ferocious in temper; viciousa savage dog
- uncivilized; crudesavage behaviour
- (of peoples) nonliterate or primitivea savage tribe
- (of terrain) rugged and uncultivated
- obsolete far from human habitation
- a member of a nonliterate society, esp one regarded as primitive
- a crude or uncivilized person
- a fierce or vicious person or animal
- to criticize violently
- to attack ferociously and woundthe dog savaged the child
- Michael Joseph. 1872-1940, New Zealand statesman; prime minister of New Zealand (1935-40)
Word Origin and History for savages
mid-13c., "fierce, ferocious;" c.1300, "wild, undomesticated, untamed" (of animals and places), from Old French sauvage, salvage "wild, savage, untamed, strange, pagan," from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration of silvaticus "wild," literally "of the woods," from silva "forest, grove" (see sylvan). Of persons, the meaning "reckless, ungovernable" is attested from c.1400, earlier in sense "indomitable, valiant" (c.1300).
"wild person," c.1400, from savage (adj.).
"to tear with the teeth, maul," 1880, from savage (adj.). Earlier "to act the savage" (1560s). Related: Savaged; savaging.