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See also: Savage
From Middle English savage, from Old French sauvage, salvage (“wild, savage, untamed”), from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration of Latin silvaticus (“wild"; literally, "of the woods”), from silva (“forest", "grove”).
- Wild; not cultivated.
- a savage wilderness
- Barbaric; not civilized.
- savage manners
- 1719 April 25, [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, […], 3rd edition, London: […] W[illiam] Taylor […], published 1719, OCLC 838630407, pages 194–195:
- I obſerv'd a Place where there had been a Fire made, and a Circle dug in the Earth, like a Cockpit, where it is ſuppoſed the Savage Wretches had ſat down to their inhumane Feaſtings upon the Bodies of their Fellow-Creatures.
- 1826 September, Edward D. Griffin, “Sermon IV. […] ”, in The National Preacher, volume 1, number 4, page 51:
- What nation since the commencement of the Christian era ever arose from savage to civilized without Christianity?
- 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, OCLC 1167497017:
- It is so absurd to advance into the presence of savage royalty after the fashion of an Irishman driving a pig to market, for that is what we looked like, and the idea nearly made me burst out laughing then and there.
- Fierce and ferocious.
- savage beasts
- a savage spirit
- Brutal, vicious, or merciless.
- He gave the dog a savage kick.
- The woman was killed in a savage manner.
- 1963, C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins, 2nd Revised edition, page 9:
- Fear of their cargo bred a savage cruelty into the crew. One captain, to strike terror into the rest, killed a slave and dividing heart, liver and entrails into 300 pieces made each of the slaves eat one, threatening those who refused with the same torture. Such incidents were not rare.
- 2016 April 18, Winnie Hu; Kate Pastor, “Ex-Inmate Describes Rikers Beating as ‘Open Season’ for Guards on Trial”, in The New York Times:
- Mr. Lightfoot, 31, returned to the witness stand for the second day and continued a harrowing, first-person account of the savage beating that he received in July 2012, when, Bronx prosecutors contend, the officers decided to teach him a lesson.
- 2018 October 17, Drachinifel, Last Ride of the High Seas Fleet - Battle of Texel 1918, archived from the original on 4 August 2022, retrieved 4 August 2022, 14:13 from the start:
- The fight is not all one-sided. Lion is taking a savage beating as the two flagships trade body blows almost independent of the furious carronade going on behind them.
- (UK, slang) Unpleasant or unfair.
- – I'll see you in detention.
– Ah, savage!
- (Ireland, US, slang) Great, brilliant, amazing.
- (heraldry) Nude; naked.
- sylvan (see for more terms)
wild, not cultivated
barbaric, not civilized
fierce and ferocious
brutal, vicious or merciless
savage (plural savages)
- (derogatory) A person living in a traditional, especially tribal, rather than civilized society, especially when viewed as uncivilized and uncultivated; a barbarian.
- 1847, Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred: or The New Crusade, page 251:
- 'Well, my lord, I don't know,' said Freeman with a sort of jolly sneer; 'we have been dining with the savages.'
'They are not savages, Freeman.'
'Well, my lord, they have not much more clothes, anyhow; and as for knives and forks, there is not such a thing known.'
- 1901 July 19, “Horses in time of War”, in The Agricultural Journal and Mining Record, volume 4, number 10, page 296:
- In the year 1879, when the Utes succeeded in getting some United States troops into what was afterwards known as Thornburg's "rat hole," several mounted couriers succeeded in slipping through the circling line of savages.
- (figuratively) An aggressively defiant person.
- Their kids are little savages! One of them bit me the other day.
uncivilized or feral person
aggressively defiant person
- To attack or assault someone or something ferociously or without restraint.
- No matter how anyone might savage me, I should stay strong.
- 2019 March 6, Drachinifel, The Battle of Samar (Alternate History) - Bring on the Battleships!, archived from the original on 20 July 2022, retrieved 22 July 2022, 26:48 from the start:
- But that was only the start, because the Fletchers - (obviously) carrying two torpedo launchers - were only launching half-salvos, so one full wave of torpedoes had driven off the cruisers after having savaged the destroyers, aaand then it was a case of, well, here come twenty-five destroyers, here comes[sic] two hundred and fifty torpedoes, hello Japanese battleships, dodge this!
- (figuratively) To criticise vehemently.
- His latest film was savaged by most reviewers.
- 2013 August 10, Lexington, “Keeping the mighty honest”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
- British journalists shun complete respectability, feeling a duty to be ready to savage the mighty, or rummage through their bins. Elsewhere in Europe, government contracts and subsidies ensure that press barons will only defy the mighty so far.
- (of an animal) To attack with the teeth.
- (obsolete, transitive) To make savage.
to attack or assault someone or something ferociously or without restraint
to criticise vehemently
- savage, barbaric, unmannered, primitive
- wild, untamed, harsh
- mighty, strong, powerful
- ferocious, angry, attacking, opposed
- (rare) demented, crazy, insane
- (rare) ill-thought, ill-advised