a. Not domesticated or cultivated; wild: a savage animal; the savage jungle.
b. Not civilized; barbaric: a savage people.
a. Vicious or merciless; brutal: a savage form of warfare.
b. Characterized by or showing hostility; unforgiving: savage criticism.
3. Extreme in strength or degree: savage heat.
A member of a people regarded as primitive, uncivilized, brutal, or fierce.
tr.v. sav·aged, sav·ag·ing, sav·ag·es
1. To assault ferociously.
2. To attack without restraint or pity: The critics savaged the new play.
[Middle English sauvage, from Old French, from Late Latin salvāticus, from Latin silvāticus, of the woods, wild, from silva, forest.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.