Meaning of wild in English:


Pronunciation /wʌɪld/

See synonyms for wild

Translate wild into Spanish


  • 1(of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated.

    ‘a herd of wild goats’
    • ‘wild strawberries’
    • ‘All the sunflowers that were planted last summer were brown, wild shrubs grew abundantly, and weeds consumed the few lilies that were trying desperately to live.’
    • ‘Trees are cut down to grow cash crops and wild creatures are shot.’
    • ‘Dragons eat any animals they can catch, up to the size of wild pigs, goats, deer, and water buffaloes and occasionally including human beings.’
    • ‘When mist fills the Himalayan valleys and heavy monsoon rain sweeps across the hills, it is natural for the wild creatures to seek shelter.’
    • ‘All around us the wild grasses are growing, heavy with seeds not yet ripened.’
    • ‘The verges have grown profuse with wild grasses and flowers.’
    • ‘The red-brick mansion looks shabby with parts of it damaged and wild bushes growing around it.’
    • ‘The steady economic development has caused residences and public infrastructures to grow like wild grass.’
    • ‘But it was not too hard to do this at this time of year when wild grass grew abundantly in the fields.’
    • ‘Natural growths of wild grass of a different species were pollinated by the gene-modified grass nearly nine miles away.’
    • ‘Like its cultivated successors, the wild vine is a climbing plant which needs to grow up some support.’
    • ‘They also enjoyed the tales given by Michael on the history and folklore of the area and learned a great deal about the wild herbs and flowers growing there.’
    • ‘A true hunter is concerned with propagating natural, wild species while harvesting a few for the table.’
    • ‘The only noise that came to me was from the soles of my boots brushing against the wild grass growing on the weathered road.’
    • ‘The domestic apple, a hybrid of several wild species, is grown extensively in cool temperate regions of the world.’
    • ‘Avian flu is naturally present in wild birds and can easily spread to poultry.’
    • ‘The hearths contained burnt animal bone, including wild pig, fox, bird, either a dog or a wolf, and possibly a bear.’
    • ‘We enjoy long walks on the trails searching for the perfect walking stick, tracking deer, wild pigs and other animals.’
    • ‘Or they can do what Kiwis do best: tramp along the ten-mile Moeraki Valley trail system, where wild orchids grow.’
    • ‘Another of the joys of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are the wild orchids that grow, although now in decreasing numbers as tourists pick them.’
    untamed, undomesticated, feral
    uncultivated, natural
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Produced from wild animals or plants without cultivation.
      ‘wild honey’
      • ‘The smell is of locusts and wild honey, like John the Baptist's menu.’
      • ‘For £150 a year, anyone can adopt a sheep and in return be sent four kilos of pecorino, wild honey, jams and some woollen jumpers.’
      • ‘There are some women's units making excellent bath soaps by adding exotic ingredients like honey, saffron, wild turmeric or sandal.’
      • ‘Insects or their by-products such as honey are another form of wild food.’
      • ‘As far as the commercial growers were concerned the man used strains which were almost wild.’
  • 2(of a place or region) uninhabited, uncultivated, or inhospitable.

    ‘an expanse of wild moorland’
    • ‘the wild coastline of Cape Wrath’
    • ‘I think that instilled a love for landscape, for wild places and open spaces.’
    • ‘Clearly his is a cack-handed attempt to cash in on the growing public desire to take wild places into the ownership and control of the communities that live around them.’
    • ‘I reckon my love of nature and of wild places started out with Romany.’
    • ‘It is always so surprising to arrive at a populated town after travelling through such uninhabitable, wild terrain.’
    • ‘But he wrote about a kind of decaying Britain; about towns and suburbs and rolling countryside more often than wild places.’
    • ‘Families, organisations and schools are being urged to take part in a new award for Cumbria which aims to encourage people of all ages to discover and conserve wild places.’
    • ‘More of the world's wild places have been destroyed and millions of people have suffered from extreme weather events.’
    • ‘David was lauded for his work by being promoted to BBC Director of Programs, but he missed his field trips to wild places and asked that occasionally he be allowed out of his suit.’
    • ‘Only by visiting such places will we learn to appreciate our country's wildlife and wild places.’
    • ‘Quite how the developer thinks this remote area, that is only penetrated by one minor road, is not a wild place beggars belief.’
    • ‘Explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth.’
    • ‘And population pressures are causing heavy damage to the world's remaining wild places.’
    • ‘Despite our predilection for the world's wild places, Sara and I also enjoy a little culture now and again.’
    • ‘A majority of people agree that there should be large tracts of wild places kept aside that belong to no one person but where any of us can go.’
    • ‘Fred had a warm and generous nature, coloured by a certain eccentricity, and he loved the wild places of the world.’
    • ‘Like most mountaineers, he felt alive in high, wild places.’
    • ‘When I was fortunate enough to find a good job in Perth in 1975 I was eager to return and revisit those beautiful, wild places I had known as a child.’
    • ‘But underneath the glossy picture postcard image is a harsh, rugged, wild landscape that is my main source of inspiration.’
    • ‘The land was wild and empty, but there always seemed to be a human shape lurking in the tunnels.’
    • ‘People can move to new places and be happy again but wild habitats and heritage site cannot be moved and once destroyed cannot be restored.’
    uninhabited, unpopulated, uncultivated, unfarmed, unmanaged, virgin
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    1. 2.1(of sea or the weather) rough and stormy.
      ‘a wild, bitterly cold night’
      • ‘For me the wild seas and the cold were really tough.’
      • ‘A few days back I thrilled to a display of wild weather, noting a ‘water spout’ descending from the clouds over Boston during a rain storm.’
      • ‘There's something primal and deeply satisfying about sitting indoors, all warm and snug and listening to wild weather beating at the eaves.’
      • ‘But green-fingered Mrs Ashworth says she has hit upon an idea to outsmart any more wild weather heading her way.’
      • ‘Presumably the fact that Scots are accustomed to wild weather helps.’
      • ‘It is a shrub, rather than a tree, and its size will be limited on the crags because of the wild weather conditions it has to endure.’
      • ‘Overhead a rogue seagull stands on the wind, silent, but a sign there's wild weather on the way.’
      • ‘These trends are bound to continue into 2001, with more people around the world being displaced by floods, endangered by wild weather and starved by droughts.’
      • ‘The fact that this meant taking a ship with a dodgy condenser round Scotland through the wild seas of January doesn't seem to have worried anybody.’
      • ‘And therefore, Brisbane's wild weather and storms will not last for another six weeks!’
      • ‘In the event, only one cup game and four in lower divisions survived the wild weather.’
      • ‘As a result, some of the Earth's weather systems start to shut down rapidly and the world begins to suffer from wild weather conditions never experienced before.’
      • ‘This is a reward you often get, here on the edge of Exmoor, with wild skies making up for a day of wild weather.’
      • ‘Slowed me down and let me enjoy the wild weather, a big pile of grey storm clouds, a sunny battle of summer rain and sunshine and light shards slicing clouds.’
      • ‘Also tonight, wild weather in the west as major Pacific storms pour down on already saturated areas.’
      • ‘Mt Hotham had two inches of rain on the weekend, followed by wild weather full of hailstorms overnight.’
      • ‘Much of the Midwest is on alert tonight for severe storms after a weekend of wild weather.’
      • ‘The titles were decimated due to the wild weather conditions with many events cancelled.’
      • ‘The 19-ton vessel worked much of New Zealand's west coast, pounding through wild seas.’
      • ‘Police have warned boat enthusiasts to be cautious during wild weather, after a dramatic rescue on the River Derwent yesterday.’
      stormy, squally, tempestuous, turbulent, blustery, windy, howling, raging, roaring, furious, violent
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2(of people) not civilized; primitive.
      ‘the wild tribes from the north’
      • ‘Egypt, Donnelly wrote, was their colony, where they tried to civilize wild tribes.’
      • ‘Some wild tribes of the distant past no doubt did follow the practice of killing innocent people in revenge for the death of one of their men.’
      • ‘To think how Man developed from the wild tribes 7000 years ago to this level today.’
      • ‘Furthermore, Brillat-Savarin recognises that obesity does not exist among wild tribes who need physical exercise to get their daily nutrition.’
      • ‘Her haunting novel is based on journals kept by the French doctor recording his attempts to civilise a wild child who has been captured by huntsmen after living alone for years in the woods.’
      • ‘However, among the once wild head-hunting tribes of northeastern India cattle are raised for food.’
      • ‘She expressed her hope that her gifted nephew would be an emissary of civilization to the wild colonies.’
      • ‘For Derricke's final image is actually an idea, his dream of the successful civilization of the wild Irish.’
      • ‘The Wall was built by the Romans to keep out the wild Caledonian tribes from the North.’
      • ‘It could no longer be represented by such straightforward dualities as European versus native, or civilised versus wild.’
      primitive, uncivilized, uncultured, uncultivated, uneducated, ignorant
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3(of a look, appearance, etc.) indicating distraction or strong emotion.
      ‘her wild eyes were darting back and forth’
      • ‘His struggles were becoming more and more frenzied, a wild look creeping into his blue eyes.’
      • ‘Geniuses must have a wild look, their hair must be in disarray, their mind must be in torment on account of their receptivity to divine afflatus, which comes in via the hair.’
      • ‘You could see the home fans get a wild look in their eye as naked drummers ran up and down the sidelines riding stick-horses and chanting in the rain.’
      • ‘She was a mess though - smudged and bruised, blue with cold, and with a wild look in her eye.’
      • ‘Having been alone in a room for the better part of a year, I emerged into the world of festivals and bookshops with a wild look in my eyes.’
      • ‘Mr. Asa's face was ruddy, his veined cheeks shiny with more than sweat, and he had a wild look to his eyes, like Pop did the time a rattler sunk fangs into his best hound.’
      • ‘When he turned to look up at her, it was with a wild look, a hope so anxious it almost hurt her to see it.’
      • ‘She turns to face Brabham, trembling but ready to fight if she needs to, a wild look of fear in her eyes.’
      • ‘She had a wild look in her eyes and her face was all twisted up in excitement.’
      • ‘A wild look of joy gradually spread across her face.’
      • ‘She had this wild look in her eyes, completely lost.’
      • ‘There was always a wild look lurking in Balder's eyes.’
      • ‘Lord Burtoll had never seen the wild looks on the other girl's faces; he didn't know how popular such tales and antics had made Madia.’
      • ‘A wild look was in her eyes as she stared at the dying fire.’
      • ‘Nancy threw her a wild look, trying to make sense of it all.’
      • ‘My hair was knotted in a tangled mess, giving me a wild look.’
      • ‘And there was always that same wild look, that same wacky glint in her eyes.’
      • ‘There was a pleading in her voice, a wild look of hope in her eyes.’
      • ‘Which reminded me… I made my hair sleekly curly, as opposed to the wild look it usually had.’
      • ‘History records that Paganini stunned audiences with his playing and wild looks, further reinforcing the myth that he had made a pact with the Devil in return for such talent.’
  • 3Lacking discipline or restraint.

    ‘wild parties were never her scene’
    • ‘‘They have a wild party but something goes wrong,’ says Welsh, refusing to divulge the secret at the heart of the plot.’
    • ‘I still go to wild parties - only they're at Wacky Warehouse and the guest list is made up of screaming five-year-olds.’
    • ‘Upon moving in, the duchess became famous for her wild parties.’
    • ‘The mother had jokingly advised her not to go to any wild parties or get bitten on the leg by a scorpion.’
    • ‘Sure, they enhanced his ‘cool,’ but you had to wonder if they were hiding some telltale sign of age or too many wild parties.’
    uncontrolled, unrestrained, out of control, undisciplined, unconstrained, uncurbed, unbridled, unchecked, chaotic
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    1. 3.1informal Very enthusiastic or excited.
      • ‘I'm not wild about the music’
      • ‘He's arrived in Boston to address the wild, enthusiastic, over-the-top Democratic Convention.’
      • ‘Liz, on the other hand, has strong cultural and familial restrictions on staring, and tends to look very mildly upon people, when she looks at all, even when she's standing in front of a man she's wild about.’
      • ‘Henry wants me to try this Vietnamese place he's wild about. Want to come?’
      very excited, jumping up and down, on fire, delirious, in a frenzy, frantic
      very keen on, very enthusiastic about, passionate about, enamoured of, infatuated with, smitten with
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    2. 3.2informal Very angry.
      • ‘She was wild. She just flipped. It was as if she had voices in her head.’
      furious, very angry, infuriated, incensed, enraged, beside oneself, irate, fuming, in a rage, raging, seething, maddened, exasperated
      View synonyms
  • 4Not based on sound reasoning or probability.

    ‘a wild guess’
    • ‘wild rumours were circulating’
    • ‘performing in Hollywood was beyond my wildest dreams’
    • ‘who, even in their wildest dreams, could have anticipated such a victory?’
    • ‘These figures are no more than wild guesses and not derived from research or sound information.’
    • ‘But times are fresh and proof is mostly based on wild innuendo and moral snobbery in these dawn days of post-America.’
    • ‘At least with Santa Claus, we know there really was a Saint Nicholas on whom all the later wild stories are based.’
    • ‘As long as I'm toasting Keller based on wild speculation, let me tip my glass to Risen.’
    • ‘After all, if speculation is based on concrete facts and is not just a wild guess, it's part of science.’
    • ‘If this sounds like wild speculation, recall that it has in fact been standard political practice since the time of Machiavelli.’
    • ‘For many months, racing has been the subject of wild rumours and unsubstantiated allegations, much of them nonsense and most thoroughly offensive.’
    • ‘‘It lays to rest some of the wild rumours that have been circulating which have been unhelpful and distressing for the families,’ he said.’
    • ‘Although there are millions of pages of material on the web, it's an uncharted frontier of rumour, speculation, wild theories and baseless postulation.’
    • ‘Also contributing to the entertainment quota during the show were the quiz-master's rejoinders to the wild guesses that almost every team was indulging in.’
    • ‘To quash rumours and wild speculation on the internet, he declared his bisexuality in US magazine Out, appearing naked on the cover just to make sure the whole world noticed.’
    • ‘Psychopharmacology has discovered the truth in Scott's wild guess, but Zelda is not the only hectored patient who might have been cured had she been born later.’
    • ‘At first, the open news reporting helped to correct wild rumours which were being spread in the absence of adequate official information.’
    • ‘Still, ‘real reporters’ have dissed him for reporting wild rumours and trafficking in gossip.’
    • ‘That was only a wild guess, but what they did know for sure was that such a strange affliction had to be segregated from normal society.’
    • ‘While the team performed in office, others plotted against them, filling the air with harmful rumours and wild allegations.’
    • ‘I'll make a wild guess that around 99% of boys my age play computer games.’
    • ‘These are the latest of wild rumours about the band leader who died when his plane crashed into the English Channel on the way to Paris in December 1944.’
    • ‘We'll make wild guesses for a while and then, if all else fails, we'll open this envelope that has all the answers.’
    • ‘The element of luck was also at play with one of the quarter finalists making a wild guess on the number of flowers that goes on to make a kilogram of Saffron.’
    madcap, ridiculous, ludicrous, foolish, stupid, lunatic, foolhardy, idiotic, absurd, silly, asinine, unwise, ill-advised, ill-considered, ill-conceived, illogical, senseless, nonsensical
    random, arbitrary, hit-or-miss, haphazard, uninformed
    View synonyms
  • 5(of a playing card) deemed to have any value, suit, colour, or other property in a game at the discretion of the player holding it.

    See also wild card

    ‘In some games certain cards are wild - either the deuces or a joker added to the deck - and in some games there is a cumulative jackpot which is won by a high hand such as a royal flush.’
    • ‘In this case each hand the wild tiles move around the board from player to player so each player gets 2 wild tiles every 3rd hand.’
    • ‘A player uses the wild double in his turn to end the gameround.’
    • ‘Unlike normal wild cards and other wild draw cards, the player who played the draw two card does not get to specify the next color/suit.’
    • ‘In this game, twos and jokers are wild, and threes are special.’


the wild
  • 1A natural state or uncultivated or uninhabited region.

    ‘kiwis are virtually extinct in the wild’
    • ‘Zoos often keep their animals in cramped, often barren conditions: a far cry from the animal's natural habitat in the wild.’
    • ‘Our data suggest that the performance paradigm can be expanded to reveal more of the physiological underpinning of natural selection in the wild.’
    • ‘If so, does a fish have a worse time of it in a net than it will have when it is killed by a predator or dies of other natural causes in the wild?’
    • ‘Conversely, it is well known that cracids can hybridize very easily in captivity, though natural hybridization has not been reported in the wild.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that a number of important medicinal herbs and animals used in the production of natural medicines are endangered in the wild.’
    • ‘And it loses - it's like the condors that they release in the wild.’
    • ‘There are now fewer than 30,000 orang-utans, and it is likely that they will become extinct in the wild in as little as 20 years' time if this decline continues.’
    • ‘However, the ideal places for establishing bee colonies were locations where the farm pesticide use was low, and where there were several beehives in the wild.’
    • ‘A rare sea eagle chick which was rescued from a nest after its father was poisoned has been successfully fostered in the wild by surrogate parents in the first case of its kind in Scotland.’
    • ‘Breeding pandas is a tricky business, even in the wild.’
    • ‘In the South, numbers have increased in the wild.’
    • ‘By the way, the chinchilla is almost extinct in the wild.’
    • ‘It had been 36 years since one been seen in the wild.’
    • ‘For instance, we know that apes ‘communicate’ in the wild.’
    • ‘Thanks to captive breeding, today there are over 300 whooping cranes, with 180 living in the wild.’
    • ‘I can understand people's concerns about animals such as wolves, but as anyone who has worked with them in the wild will tell you, they don't represent a threat to humans.’
    • ‘They are attempting to track it across Sheffield and are calling on gardeners and countryside enthusiasts to report if they have it in their garden or have seen it recently in the wild.’
    • ‘There are only about 650 mountain gorillas left in the wild.’
    • ‘They say it is too expensive and say protecting southwest China's mountain forests is a better way to save the 1,000 pandas left in the wild.’
    • ‘He's done well to survive in the wild for so long, although he might have been taken in by a family for a while.’
    1. 1.1the wildsA remote uninhabited or sparsely inhabited area.
      ‘he spent a year in the wilds of Canada’
      • ‘It must have been a tough decision to be tucked away in the wilds of the remote village after a degree from Oxford but he obviously has a lot of the hardy Scot in him, as his occasional hints keep reminding us.’
      • ‘It's well written with lots of excellent photographs and is packed full of knowledge gained from her many years working as a trout-fishing guide in the wilds of the Caithness area of Scotland.’
      • ‘Francis came all the way back into the big bad city from the wilds of New Haven, so we were glad to see him.’
      • ‘This section ranges across the central area of England, from the wilds of the Peak District via the industrialised Black Country to the idyll of the Cotswolds.’
      • ‘And third is the physical journey Sun makes, tracing the footsteps of Xuanzang, through the wilds of Central Asia and the sacred places of Buddhism.’
      • ‘Yet rhodos have grown in the wilds of the world for thousands of years without chemical fertilizer, bloom booster, weevil killer, soil acidifier or any other manner of nasty toxin.’
      • ‘Schooler is a commercial fishermen and wilderness guide who makes a living in the wilds of Alaska.’
      • ‘He made his home in the wilds of the Blackstairs on the Wexford side, away from his home in Carlow.’
      • ‘Indulge your weakness for romantic clichés by taking your significant other for a canoe ride on the Glenmore Reservoir or into the wilds of the adjacent Weaselhead area.’
      • ‘Follow our writers to the most remote hideaways on earth, from the Sahara to the wilds of Scotland’
      • ‘After successfully moving our business to the wilds of the Oregon outback I've had a chance to use some new equipment and thought I'd share what I learned.’
      • ‘The local bus from Kyle of Lochalsh whizzes its way, as it does every day, through the wilds of Skye towards Portree.’
      • ‘I'm escaping to the wilds of the Peak District tomorrow for a couple of days.’
      • ‘Some of Kenya's bush homes also offer camel safaris up into the wilds of the far north.’
      • ‘So anyway, I'm headed out of town for the next twelve days, to Salt Lake City and then the wilds of Wyoming's Wind Rivers region for some backpacking.’
      • ‘So occasionally it is necessary to try to overcome the sense of being institutionalised by well-paved roads and street lighting and delve into the wilds of Oxfordshire.’
      • ‘No Charlton game today, so I'm heading off to the wilds of Surrey for a change of scene.’
      • ‘Weather conditions are set to improve by Thursday, and pilots will take advantage, taking-off and climbing in thermals into the wilds of the high Alpine back country.’
      • ‘Patterson had grown up in the wilds of Minnesota.’
      • ‘It is located far from Oxbridge, amidst James's own native grounds: the wilds of the bleak East Anglian seacoast.’
      remote areas, wilderness
      View synonyms


[with object]West Indian
  • Treat (a person or animal) harshly, so that they become untrusting or nervous.

    • ‘let your pigeon fly for a while: we don't want to wild him’


    wild and woolly
    • Uncouth in appearance or behaviour.

      ‘the Australian outlaw's wild and woolly look’
      • ‘he might have been a gunman in his wild and woolly youth’
      • ‘And yet they both deal with the wild and woolly world of human behaviour.’
      • ‘Prayer to saints specifically unites us with the Church Triumphant in heaven, and thus is a much-needed reminder that the Church has endured for almost 2,000 wild and woolly and often hideous years.’
      • ‘Things will be much less wild and woolly here tomorrow, so I will be back then with a statement of principle.’
      • ‘The Point Reyes peninsula is as wild and woolly as it gets, yet it's conveniently close - roughly 35 miles - to the hubbub of San Francisco.’
      • ‘Such is the wild and woolly insurance market in China today.’
      • ‘It was among the Vikings, however, that wild and woolly culture of the North Atlantic (today's Norway and Denmark), that mead really came into its own.’
      • ‘But given the wild and woolly wholesale market in the past three years, analyzing risk has been getting more difficult.’
      • ‘Labor Council's walking labour history museum is back with more wild and woolly facts from the wonderful world of workplace relations.’
      • ‘The Government does not actually need the money, but because it has the money coming in, it comes up with all sorts of wild and woolly ways of spending it.’
      • ‘On the wild and woolly streets of Russia's capital city, the diesel engine is truly a menace to human health.’
    wild horses wouldn't ——
    • Used to convey that nothing could persuade or force one to do something.

      ‘wild horses wouldn't have kept me away’
      • ‘Even though I'll be in Birmingham on Saturday (Aston Villa v Charlton), wild horses wouldn't drag me away from some of these places on Sunday.’
      • ‘I don't know where he gets it from because wild horses wouldn't drag me onto a stage.’
      • ‘He assured friends that wild horses wouldn't drag him back to the Lords when he stepped down as Archbishop of York last weekend.’
      • ‘Well, a pack of wild horses wouldn't have got Angela out of the Sari Club - all the attention she was getting.’
    run wild
    • Grow or develop without restraint or discipline.

      ‘these horses have been running wild since they were born’
      • ‘her imagination had run wild’
      • ‘Presumably he's hoping to let the island monkeys run wild, grow a fanbase around him and then start charging them for his signature too.’
      • ‘It's a question of striking the right balance: too little discipline and teenagers might run wild; too much and they might rebel.’
      • ‘I mean, that's just someone's imagination running wild.’
      • ‘It opens with a young boy in his room, imagination running wild, like any kid's does, thinking there is something in the shadows waiting to get him.’
      • ‘This, of course, is the way rumors begin - with whispering and secrets and imaginations running wild.’
      • ‘Without facts, there is nothing to stop imaginations running wild.’
      • ‘Before your emotions run wild with your imagination, remember that you can't believe everything you hear.’
      • ‘But urban front gardens are undoubtedly small, so letting the imagination run wild is best saved for the tranquillity and calm of the back garden.’
      • ‘Let your imagination run wild and your taste buds take over.’
      • ‘Strange and romantic experiences are in the offing, and you may even gain through a love affair, so let your imagination run wild.’


Old English wilde, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German wild.