Definition of savage in English:

savage

Line breaks: sav¦age
Pronunciation: /ˈsavɪdʒ
 
/

adjective

1(Of an animal or force of nature) fierce, violent, and uncontrolled: packs of savage dogs roamed the streets
More example sentences
  • I saw the transformation take place, the placid exterior to the violent, savage beast.
  • But life among the dogs was savage; no law existed but that of fang and force.
  • The two combatants charged at each other with weapons drawn and fought like savage beasts.
Synonyms
1.1Cruel and vicious; aggressively hostile: a savage attack on the government
More example sentences
  • The actor has launched a savage attack on Hollywood - saying the film industry is full of racists.
  • Having clarified that, we cannot remain silent during what appears to be a ruthless and savage attack by the media on Charlie's character.
  • We tried to have a debate on serious historical presidents, and you make it into a savage attack on the current president.
Synonyms
2(Of something bad or negative) very great; severe: the decision was a savage blow for the town
More example sentences
  • But life had dealt them, and Radio Kilkenny, a savage blow, a knockout punch.
  • Other service industries are reacting to excess capacity and weak demand with savage price wars, further depressing prices.
  • The company has announced a savage price cut of its videogame system.
Synonyms
severe, crushing, devastating, crippling, terrible, awful, dreadful, dire, catastrophic, calamitous, ruinous; mortal, lethal, fatal
3(Chiefly in historical or literary contexts) primitive; uncivilized.
More example sentences
  • It set all England talking about contemporary painting, and sent the more alert not only to Paris but to museums and collections where they could have a look at primitive, oriental and savage art.
  • Then he tells her of his wild tales of the savage barbarian Conan, and she sees the fire in his eyes.
  • Some people argue that capital punishment is a savage act and must be abolished in every state.
Synonyms
3.1(Of a place) wild-looking and inhospitable; uncultivated.
More example sentences
  • I don't want to stay forever lost in this savage wilderness.
  • They turned useless prairies into golden wheat fields, their wagons into powerful locomotives, and a savage wilderness into a network of commerce and trade.
  • Bridget bought me a very complicated-looking pair of hiking boots, for all the savage terrain I am likely to encounter.
Synonyms

noun

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1(Chiefly in historical or literary contexts) a member of a people regarded as primitive and uncivilized.
More example sentences
  • The film's black characters (many of them white actors in blackface) are either servile or savages.
  • Under Jack's rule, the boys become uncivilized savages.
  • It is commonly said that it shows how thin is the veneer of civilisation and how readily we humans can return to the state of primitive savages or animals and once again become blindly destructive.
Synonyms
barbarian, wild man, wild woman, primitive, heathen; cannibal
2A brutal or vicious person: the mother of one of the victims has described his assailants as savages
More example sentences
  • Close up, they didn't look at all like the vicious savages she had encountered when she first came here.
  • The problem is at heart we're basically just savages, animals, and always will be, ready to use violence to solve all our problems, no matter what the consequences might be.
  • They are heartless savages and even less than animals.
Synonyms
3 Heraldry A representation of a bearded and semi-naked man with a wreath of leaves.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1(Especially of a dog or wild animal) attack ferociously and maul: police are rounding up dogs after a girl was savaged
More example sentences
  • If it's our ewe your dog is savaging that setout man may be saving you $125 and my wife's formidable wrath.
  • People are still savaged by dogs, but the topic is no longer fashionable.
  • Wilson tried to toss his coat over the dog to subdue it, but the dog savaged his hand and wrist until J.M. shot it.
Synonyms
maul, attack, tear to pieces, lacerate, claw, bite, mutilate, mangle; worry
1.1Subject to a vicious verbal attack; criticize brutally: he savaged the government for wasting billions in their failed bid to prop up the pound
More example sentences
  • As Toronto theatre critics dispense increasingly disparate opinions, some shows are savaged in one rag and lionized in another.
  • Critics are savaging a government-funded course in Birmingham where grown-ups are being taught how to text and download ringtones.
  • Most critics savaged his comedy when it was released last fall, but really, what were they expecting?
Synonyms
criticize severely, attack, lambaste, condemn, flay, shoot down, pillory, revile
informal jump on, tear to pieces, take to pieces, take/pull apart, lay into, pitch into, hammer, slam, bash, do a hatchet job on, crucify, give something a battering, roast, skewer, throw brickbats at, knock
British informal slate, rubbish, slag off, monster
North American informal bad-mouth, pummel
Australian/New Zealand informal trash, bag, give someone bondi
archaic excoriate, slash

Origin

Middle English: from Old French sauvage 'wild', from Latin silvaticus 'of the woods', from silva 'a wood'.

Derivatives

savagely

adverb
More example sentences
  • This sparked a series of student demonstrations that were savagely suppressed, killing over 100.
  • The point remains, however, that war is a savagely gruesome business.
  • His stepfather savagely beats him, breaks his telescope, and throws him out of the house.

savageness

noun
More example sentences
  • I would argue that the violence in the Middle East is pretty mild mannered compared to the savageness occurring in Gujarat, a province in Northwestern India.
  • They are very good natured animals when domesticated, but I believe it to be impossible to cure that savageness, which all I have seen seem to possess.
  • Presentation is bland and the lack of graphic detail just doesn't do justice to the obvious savageness of the creatures.

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