• WordNet 3.6
    • adj fierce violently agitated and turbulent "boisterous winds and waves","the fierce thunders roar me their music"- Ezra Pound","rough weather","rough seas"
    • adj fierce ruthless in competition "cutthroat competition","bowelless readiness to take advantage"
    • adj fierce marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid "fierce loyalty","in a tearing rage","vehement dislike","violent passions"
    • adj fierce marked by extreme and violent energy "a ferocious beating","fierce fighting","a furious battle"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Behind him a fierce roar indicated that the lion was in pursuit Behind him a fierce roar indicated that the lion was in pursuit

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The dragons and other monsters that graced the bows of the Viking ships were so fierce-looking that a law was passed in Iceland ordering the skipper of any Viking ship to remove the figurehead before entering port.
    • Fierce Excessively earnest, eager, or ardent.
    • Fierce Furious; violent; unrestrained; impetuous; as, a fierce wind. "His fierce thunder drove us to the deep."
    • Fierce Vehement in anger or cruelty; ready or eager to kill or injure; of a nature to inspire terror; ferocious. "A fierce whisper.""A fierce tyrant.""The fierce foe hung upon our broken rear.""Thou huntest me as a fierce lion."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The little overhang of bone and feathers over an eagle's eye is there to protect the sensitive eyeball from the mountain and desert sun. It's not meant to make the bird look fierce.
    • fierce Wild, as a beast; savage; ferocious; having a cruel or rapacious disposition or intention: as, a fierce lion; a fierce pursuer.
    • fierce Ferocious in quality or manifestation; indicating or marked by savage cruelty or rage.
    • fierce Violent; vehement; impetuous; passionate; ardent.
    • fierce Wild; disordered; dreadful.
    • fierce Strong; powerful.
    • fierce Great; large (of number).
    • fierce Brisk; lively.
    • fierce Sudden; precipitate.
    • fierce =Syn. 1–3. Infuriate, fell, fiery, passionate, barbarous, rapacious, ravenous.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Fierce fērs ferocious: violent: angry
    • ***


  • Proverb
    “The wrath of brothers is fierce and devilish.”
  • Quintus Curtius Rufus
    Quintus Curtius Rufus
    “A cowardly cur barks more fiercely than it bites.”
  • Don Marquis
    “A fierce unrest seethes at the core, of all existing things:, it was the eager wish to soar, that gave the gods their wings.”
  • Oscar Levant
    “Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.”
  • Victor Hugo
    “The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.”
  • Willa Cather
    “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. fers (Fr. fier)—L. ferus, wild, savage.


In literature:

He moved smartly towards the infant, caught him by the throat, and almost strangled him in a fierce attempt to keep him quiet.
"Red Rooney" by R.M. Ballantyne
It was a fierce fight.
"King Arthur and His Knights" by Maude L. Radford
We at length became so accustomed to the continual skirmishing, that unless the firing was in fierce volleys we took no notice of it.
"Three Years in the Sixth Corps" by George T. Stevens
Aren't they a fierce bunch?
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Hot was the welcome they got, and fierce was their answering grip.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
Jones felt the justice of the complaint of the sailors; but only after a fierce struggle with his personal scruples could he yield the point.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
A fierce cry leaped from among the thousands of the common people.
"King Arthur's Knights" by Henry Gilbert
There came a day when Apollo could no longer put curbing hands on his fierce longing.
"A Book of Myths" by Jean Lang
She seemed uneasy at their presence; that could not be wondered at, considering their wild garb and fierce looks.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
Fierce glances lower under the slouch of broad sombreros.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid

In poetry:

The war was stately in me,
And in my heart was pride—
Fierce moods like neighing horses
Most terribly did ride.
"The Warrior Maid" by Anna Hempstead Branch
See now the hero of my song,
That theme of every tongue!
Alone, and fierce, he stalks along,
As if with frenzy stung:
"The Elephant" by William Hayley
Ah, hadst thou lived, my warrior,
Among the glorious ones,
I had borne thee savage daughters
And beautiful fierce sons.
"The Warrior Maid" by Anna Hempstead Branch
Fierce rage is in his savage eye,
His tomahawk in air;
"Woman! what woman want?" he cries,
"Her death does woman dare!"
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon
His beard, not flax, but burning
With fierce and fiery glow,
Right through the marble table
Beneath his chair does grow.
"Barbarossa" by Friedrich Ruckert
Is it that in such insurgent
Fury tossed from tree to tree,
You would quench the fiercely urgent
Pangs of some old memory?
"One Day And Another: A Lyrical Eclogue – Part IV" by Madison Julius Cawein

In news:

' Macaca ' Brouhaha: Fierce Guessing on What Allen Meant.
I think the bitch—and I use the term in the universal spirit of concession that dope women and gay men make to the finest females of our species—is beyond fierce.
(AP) — The far-flung swing states that have the most sway in the presidential election have something else in common — a large share of military veterans who are getting special attention from the fiercely dueling campaigns.
Get ready, JConcepts is on a roll with this fierce new Manta body.
In a state that has a long history of maple syrup production and fiercely protects the purity of its brand, Vermont producers are proud of their "fancy," "grade A dark amber" and "grade B" syrup.
Losing power and refrigeration after a fierce Uganda thunderstorm meant it was the perfect time to make ginger citrus marmalade .
Advance publicity for a program the fiercely gifted Bay Area pianist Sarah Cahill presented at Merkin Concert Hall on Thursday night featured a title not of her choosing.
Bob Mould keeps making a fierce case for Silver Age.
In the frozen grips of a fierce storm, each man's choice was his own.
His is a haunting, loving, fiercely democratic epic by a master poet.
At the time I was fiercely committed to cardio workouts and weight lifting—I loved spinning classes, boxing classes (in an actual ring), indoor rock climbing, and boot camp.
These are not the Hakeem Olajuwon-Charles Barkley Houston Rockets, whose fierce battles with the Jazz in the 1990s shaped the history of both franchises.
They look quite fierce when they bare them, but opossums are shy animals and will avoid an encounter if at all possible.
In this poor economy, salespeople battling fiercely for every deal need to be at the top of their game.
She won one of the most fierce and expensive races, and Governor Walker himself said the race would be a nail biter.