wild

Definitions

General English

  • adjective living naturally, not with people as a pet
  • adjective very angry or very excited
  • adjective not thinking carefully
  • adverb without any control

Food

  • (written as Wild)
    game

Slang

  • adjective exciting, impressive, excellent. This was a vogue term among jazz aficionados, hipsters and beatniks of the 1950s in the USA. It is inspired by the use of wild to mean enthusiastic in the phrase ‘wild about something’. The transferred use of wild as a term of approbation mainly survives in adolescent and pre-teenage speech.

Origin & History of “wild”

Wild is a general Germanic word, shared by German and Dutch (wild) and Swedish and Danish (vild). All go back to a prehistoric ancestor *wilthijaz, which in turn was probably descended from Indo-European *ghwelt- (source of Welsh gwyllt ‘wild’). The derivative wilderness (OE) etymologically denotes the ‘condition of being a wild animal’. It originated as an abstract noun formed from Old English wild dēor ‘wild animal’. But by the time it appears in texts, the modern sense ‘wild land’ is complete. The noun is thought to have been the source of the now defunct verb wilder, which probably served as the basis of bewilder (17th c.). Wildebeest (19th c.) was acquired from Afrikaans.
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