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Taken from Latin ferōx (wild, bold, savage, fierce) +‎ -ous.


  • IPA(key): /fəˈɹəʊʃəs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊʃəs


ferocious (comparative more ferocious, superlative most ferocious)

  1. Marked by extreme and violent energy.
    • 1976 September, Saul Bellow, Humboldt’s Gift, New York, N.Y.: Avon Books, →ISBN, page 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.
    • 2023 January 25, Howard Johnston, “Peter Kelly: August 2 1944-December 28 2022”, in RAIL, number 975, page 47:
      "My memory of him in the office at Peterborough was the ferocious nature of his typing, on a manual machine of course. This was long before the days of desktop publishing, and you could hear him down the corridor absolutely hammering the keyboard."
  2. Extreme or intense.


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