May 24, 2013
ferocious (adjective)
\fuh-ROH-shus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : fierce, savage2 : very great : extreme
How do you use it?
The storm came on quickly with dramatic lightning and ferocious winds, followed by fist-sized hail.
Are you a word wiz?

"Ferocious" is Latin in origin. What do you think the two Latin roots that make up "ferocious" mean?

We're wild about answer A! "Ferocious" traces to Latin "ferox" or "feroc-," which mean "fierce looking." "Ferox" and "feroc-" derive from the combination of the Latin root "ferus," meaning "wild," and a combining element taken from the Latin word "oculus," meaning "eye." Those two parts combined translate as "wild-looking." "Ferus," the wild part of "ferocious," shows up in two other common English words: "fierce," meaning "violently unfriendly or aggressive in disposition" or "eager to fight or kill," and "feral," meaning "having escaped from domestication and become wild."
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