Civilized vs Savage - What's the difference?

civilized | savage |

As adjectives the difference between civilized and savage

is that civilized is having a highly developed society or culture while savage is wild; not cultivated.

As a noun savage is

(pejorative) an uncivilized or feral human; a barbarian.

As a verb savage is

to attack or assault someone or something ferociously or without restraint.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Alternative forms

* civilised (mostly British)


(en adjective)
  • Having a highly developed society or culture.
  • Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, reasonable, ethical.
  • Marked by refinement in taste and manners.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=5 citation , passage=A waiter brought his aperitif, which was a small scotch and soda, and as he sipped it gratefully he sighed.
       ‘Civilized ,’ he said to Mr. Campion. ‘Humanizing.’ […] ‘Cigars and summer days and women in big hats with swansdown face-powder, that's what it reminds me of.’}}

    See also

    * civil




    (en adjective)
  • wild; not cultivated
  • a savage wilderness
  • * Dryden
  • savage berries of the wood
  • barbaric; not civilized
  • savage manners
  • * 1719-
  • I observed a place where there had been a fire made, and a circle dug in the earth, like a cockpit, where I supposed the savage wretches had sat down to their human feastings upon the bodies of their fellow-creatures.
  • * E. D. Griffin
  • What nation, since the commencement of the Christian era, ever rose from savage to civilized without Christianity?
  • fierce and ferocious
  • savage beasts
    a savage spirit
  • brutal, vicious or merciless
  • He gave the dog a savage kick.
    The woman was killed in a savage manner.
  • (UK, slang) unpleasant or unfair
  • - I'll see you in detention.
    - Ah, savage !


    (en noun)
  • (pejorative) An uncivilized or feral human; a barbarian.
  • * 1847 , , Tancred: or The New Crusade , page 251
  • 'Well, my lord, I don't know,' said Freeman with a sort of jolly sneer; 'we have been dining with the savages'.'
    'They are not '
    , Freeman.'
    'Well, my lord, they have not much more clothes, anyhow; and as for knives and forks, there is not such a thing known.'
  • (figuratively) A defiant person.
  • Verb

  • To attack or assault someone or something ferociously or without restraint.
  • (figuratively) To criticise vehemently.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-10, volume=408, issue=8848, magazine=(The Economist), author=Lexington
  • , title= Keeping the mighty honest , passage=British journalists shun complete respectability, feeling a duty to be ready to savage the mighty, or rummage through their bins. Elsewhere in Europe, government contracts and subsidies ensure that press barons will only defy the mighty so far.}}
  • (of an animal) To attack with the teeth.
  • (obsolete) To make savage.
  • * South
  • Its bloodhounds, savaged by a cross of wolf.