fierce


fierce
fierce 1 Fierce, truculent, ferocious, barbarous, savage, inhuman, cruel, fell are comparable when they mean displaying fury or malignity in looks or in actions.
Fierce is applied to men or to animals that inspire terror because of their menacing aspect or their unrestrained fury in attack
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the other Shape . . . black it stood as night, fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell, and shook a dreadful dart— Milton

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no bandit fierce, no tyrant mad with pride— Pope

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Truculent, though it implies fierceness, especially of aspect, suggests the intent to inspire terror or to threaten rather than the achievement of that intention. Consequently it often implies a bullying attitude or pose. It is applied chiefly to persons, groups of persons, and nations
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a group of truculent schoolboys

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he must . . . worry them toward the fold like a truculent sheep dog— J. R. Lowell

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the America that [Theodore] Roosevelt dreamed of was always a sort of swollen Prussia, truculent without and regimented within— Mencken

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Ferocious not only connotes extreme fierceness but it implies actions suggestive of a wild beast on a rampage or in an attack on its prey; it therefore usually implies unrestrained violence, extreme fury, and wanton brutality
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a ferocious bayonet charge

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take a ferocious revenge

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a particularly ferocious dog

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two bloodthirsty men, more cruel than the most ferocious brutes— Frazer

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Barbarous (see also BARBARIAN) in its extended sense applies only to civilized persons or their actions; it implies a harshness, a brutality, and, often, a ferocity thought of as unworthy of human beings in an advanced state of culture
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the barbarous pleasures of the chase— John Morley

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barbarous treatment of prisoners

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barbarous methods of warfare

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you have been wantonly attacked by a ruthless and barbarous aggressor. Your capital has been bombed, your women and children brutally murdered— Sir Winston Churchill

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Savage (see also BARBARIAN) implies an absence of the restraints imposed by civilization or of the inhibitions characteristic of civilized man when dealing with those whom he hates or fears or when filled with rage, lust, or other violent passion
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a savage desire for revenge

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savage punishment of a disobedient child

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a savage criticism of a book

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lashed out with all the oratorical fury and savage invective at his command— Sidney Warren

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the savage wars of religion— Inge

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Inhuman is even stronger than savage, for it suggests not so much undue violence or lack of restraint as absence of all feeling that normally characterizes a human being: on the one hand it may suggest wanton brutality, or on the other hand it may imply absence of all capacity for love, kindness, or pity
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an inhuman mother

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thy deed, inhuman and unnatural— Shak.

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Cruel implies indifference to the suffering of others and even a positive pleasure in witnessing it or in inflicting it
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her mouth crueler than a tiger's, colder than a snake's, and beautiful beyond a woman's— Swinburne

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as cruel as a schoolboy ere he grows to pity— Tennyson

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Fell, which is chiefly rhetorical or poetic, connotes dire or baleful cruelty
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unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty! . . . stop up the access and passage to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose— Shak.

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sinister men with . . . their own fell ends— T. I. Cook

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Analogous words: menacing, threatening (see THREATEN): infuriated, maddened, enraged (see ANGER vb): ravening, ravenous, rapacious, *voracious: *fearful, terrible, horrible, horrific
Antonyms: tame: mild
2 *intense, vehement, exquisite, violent
Analogous words: extreme, *excessive, inordinate: penetrating, piercing (see ENTER): *supreme, superlative, transcendent

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fierce — [fıəs US fırs] adj [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: fiers, from Latin ferus wild ] 1.) done with a lot of energy and strong feelings, and sometimes violent ▪ There was fierce fighting in the city. fierce attack/opposition/criticism etc ▪… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fierce´ly — fierce fierce «fihrs», adjective, fierc|er, fierc|est. 1. savage; wild; ferocious: »A wounded lion can be fierce. 2. Figurative. raging; …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fierce — Fierce, a. [Compar. {Fiercer}; superl. {Fiercest}.] [OE. fers, fiers, OF. fier, nom. fiers, fierce, savage, cruel, F. fier proud, from L. ferus wild, savage, cruel; perh. akin to E. bear the animal. Cf. {Feral}, {Ferocity}.] 1. Furious; violent;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fierce — [ fırs ] adjective ** 1. ) involving very strong feelings such as determination, anger, or hate: fierce debate/criticism: The proposals provoked a fierce debate. a ) very angry or ready to attack: FEROCIOUS: He looked so fierce. a fierce lion 2.… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Fierce! — is an international performance festival produced by Fierce Earth that has taken place annually in and around Birmingham, England since 1997. [http://www.fiercetv.co.uk/index.php?controller=feature mm action=view id=28 Introduction to Fierce! 10… …   Wikipedia

  • Fierce — was a three piece R B group from the United Kingdom. They were signed to Wildstar Records and scored four hit singles on the UK Singles Chart in 1999 and 2000. [Search for Fierce performed at [http://www.everyhit.com/searchsec.php Everyhit.com]… …   Wikipedia

  • fierce — [firs] adj. fiercer, fiercest [ME fers < OFr fers, fier < L ferus, wild, savage < IE base * g̑hwer , wild animal > Gr thēr, animal] 1. of a violently cruel nature; savage; wild [a fierce dog] 2. violent; uncontrolled [a fierce storm]… …   English World dictionary

  • fierce — fierce·ly; fierce·ness; fierce; …   English syllables

  • Fierce — (* in Bristol, England; bürgerlicher Name Daniel Burke) ist ein Drum ’n’ Bass Produzent. Sowohl als DJ, als auch als Produzent zeichnet er sich durch energiegeladene Tracks aus und zählt zu den Vertretern der eher härteren Gangart des Drum ’n’… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • fierce — mid 13c., proud, noble, bold, from O.Fr. fers, nom. form of fer, fier strong, overwhelming, violent, fierce, wild; proud, mighty, great, impressive (Mod.Fr. fier proud, haughty ), from L. ferus wild, untamed, from PIE root *ghwer wild, wild… …   Etymology dictionary


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