fe·ral (fîrəl, fĕr-)
a. Having returned to an untamed state from domestication: a pack of feral dogs.
b. Existing in a wild or untamed state.
2. Of or suggestive of a wild animal; savage: a feral grin.
[From Latin fera, wild animal, from ferus, wild; see ghwer- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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.