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Taken from Latin ferox (wild, bold, savage, fierce) (with the suffix -ous), from ferus (wild, savage, fierce).



ferocious (comparative more ferocious, superlative most ferocious)

  1. Marked by extreme and violent energy.
    • 1975, Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift [Avon ed., 1976, p. 376]:
      But it seemed to me that there were few faces like his, with the ferocious profile that brought to mind the Latin word rapax or one of Rouault's crazed death-dealing arbitrary kings.
    • 2011 October 1, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Scotland needed a victory by eight points to have a realistic chance of progressing to the knock-out stages, and for long periods of a ferocious contest looked as if they might pull it off.
  2. Extreme or intense.


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