Definition of feral in English:

feral

adjective

  • 1(especially of an animal) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication.

    ‘a feral cat’
    • ‘The activists were protesting plans by the hospital to trap up to 75 feral cats and turn them over to a local animal pound.’
    • ‘Suddenly a pack of skinny Malaysian dogs shot onto the lawns below, chasing a feral cat.’
    • ‘Thankfully, a new campaign has been launched to help secure protection for feral goats around Ireland.’
    • ‘The citizens of southern California are debating the balance between feral cats versus dirty rats.’
    • ‘A labour-intensive programme of trapping will reduce the numbers of stoats and feral cats.’
    • ‘Animal rights activists object to euthanizing stray and feral cats at either place.’
    • ‘Apparently rural hunters use dogs to hunt down and kill feral pigs.’
    • ‘The deer, sheep and feral goats obviously appreciated the route through the forest too.’
    • ‘Now the sheer cliffs are inhabited by choughs, golden eagles, feral goats and basking seals.’
    • ‘He rates predation by feral cats and foxes as the single biggest threat to native animals in the Territory.’
    • ‘A pack of feral dogs lived among the heaps of dirt for a time, scavenging among empty beer cans and shopping trolleys.’
    • ‘If, however, the cat and kitten are feral, you might consider keeping the kitten.’
    • ‘While thousands of acres have been fenced in, much of the land is idle and feral cats and foxes have breached fence lines.’
    • ‘She said previously the feral cats kept down the numbers of rats and mice on farms.’
    • ‘The impact of both domestic and feral cats on small native animal wildlife and birds is a controversial issue in Australia.’
    • ‘How long before the novelty wears off, and that kitten ends up another feral cat?’
    • ‘His hunting skills have also been used for the control of feral pigs in Hawaii, where he has advised on the use and training of dogs.’
    • ‘Somehow they know to elude predators - birds, crabs and feral cats - to reach the sea.’
    • ‘This is a high, wild and remote spot, home to feral goats, red deer and golden eagle.’
    • ‘The electricians will have to watch out for snakes in the water, wild animals and feral dogs.’
    wild, untamed, undomesticated, untrained, unused to humans
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    1. 1.1 Resembling a wild animal.
      ‘a feral snarl’
      • ‘Jackson Starfield is possessed of the most rock'n'roll name in town and a nice feral howl to match.’
      • ‘Although there's an element of feral sensuality in Davalos' portrayal, the film wisely keeps any potential sexual energy between her and Diesel at arm's length.’
      • ‘That said, the most impressive physical aspect of her performance comes in her feral facial expressions and stiff movements, both of which communicate a pervasive sense of unease.’
      • ‘He struck a match and the stranger came closer for a moment, bringing with him a feral smell.’
      • ‘The plot charts a downward spiral that takes the characters into a nearly feral state.’
      • ‘But it's Lewis who embodied so much of what was feral and profound about the new music.’
      • ‘There are some wonderful scenes in the movie: especially those showing the little boys' feral existence on the island, roaming around in gangs attacking each other.’
      • ‘Jean conveyed the lives of four nihilistic young people in a New Brunswick logging town with a feral intensity that is exceedingly rare in Canadian independent cinema.’
      • ‘Somewhere in the whirl of images is a close-up of the eye of a horse, a visual metaphor more terrifying and indicative of the feral madness of war than any in recent memory.’
      • ‘Catullus brings forth the frenzied, almost feral, aspects of Bacchus's followers driven mad with drunkenness and hedonism, whereas Ovid concentrates on the romantic or emotional experience of Bacchus and Ariadne's encounter.’
      • ‘Her eyes are partially closed as she lies there panting, the remains of a feral snarl becoming a sated smile.’
      • ‘There is a feral quality about him: he has the pallor of someone who is never long separated from a drink or a Marlboro Light, which it turns out he isn't.’
      • ‘A Neapolitan of modest origins, he tempers feral energy and vicious tantrums with a magnetic warmth that he switches on and off at will.’
      • ‘Anthony Newley gives the Artful Dodger a feral quality that seems quite convincing for a boy raised on the dirty and dangerous streets of London.’
      • ‘Sturges was also quick to spot the feral intensity of Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine's brutal boorishness, using them to give Bad Day At Black Rock its seething core of twisted hatred.’
      • ‘The fact that he is missing front teeth adds a dangerous, feral quality to this man.’
      • ‘Max, with his feral sensitivity, was the first to hear someone approaching from the street.’
      fierce, ferocious, vicious, savage, aggressive, tigerish, wolfish, predatory, menacing, threatening, bloodthirsty
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Origin

Early 17th century: from Latin fera ‘wild animal’ (from ferus ‘wild’) + -al.

Pronunciation