- fierce, ferocious, or cruel; untamed: savage beasts.
- uncivilized; barbarous: savage tribes.
- enraged or furiously angry, as a person.
- unpolished; rude: savage manners.
- wild or rugged, as country or scenery: savage wilderness.
- Archaic. uncultivated; growing wild.
- an uncivilized human being.
- a fierce, brutal, or cruel person.
- a rude, boorish person.
- a member of a preliterate society.
verb (used with object), sav·aged, sav·ag·ing.
- to assault and maul by biting, rending, goring, etc.; tear at or mutilate: numerous sheep savaged by dogs.
- to attack or criticize thoroughly or remorselessly; excoriate: a play savaged by the critics.
- wild; untamedsavage beasts of the jungle
- ferocious in temper; viciousa savage dog
- uncivilized; crudesavage behaviour
- (of peoples) nonliterate or primitivea savage tribe
- (of terrain) rugged and uncultivated
- obsolete far from human habitation
- a member of a nonliterate society, esp one regarded as primitive
- a crude or uncivilized person
- a fierce or vicious person or animal
- to criticize violently
- to attack ferociously and woundthe dog savaged the child
- Michael Joseph. 1872-1940, New Zealand statesman; prime minister of New Zealand (1935-40)
adv.c.1400; see savage (adj.) + -ly (2). adj.mid-13c., “fierce, ferocious;” c.1300, “wild, undomesticated, untamed” (of animals and places), from Old French sauvage, salvage “wild, savage, untamed, strange, pagan,” from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration of silvaticus “wild,” literally “of the woods,” from silva “forest, grove” (see sylvan). Of persons, the meaning “reckless, ungovernable” is attested from c.1400, earlier in sense “indomitable, valiant” (c.1300). n.“wild person,” c.1400, from savage (adj.). v.“to tear with the teeth, maul,” 1880, from savage (adj.). Earlier “to act the savage” (1560s). Related: Savaged; savaging.