Dictionary: FE'RINE-NESS – FER'RET

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Wildness; savageness. Hale.

FER'I-TY, n. [L. feritas, from ferus, wild.]

Wildness; savageness; cruelty. Woodward.

FERM, n.

A farm or rent; a lodging house. [Obs.] [See. Farm.]

FER'MENT, n. [L. fermentum, from ferveo, to boil. See Fervent.]

  1. A gentle boiling; or the internal motion of the constituent parts of a fluid. [In this sense it is rarely used. See Fermentation.]
  2. Intestine motion; heat; tumult; agitation; as, to put the passions in a ferment; the state or people are in a ferment. Subdue and cool the ferment of desire. Rogers.
  3. That which causes fermentation, as yeast, barm, or fermenting beer.

FER-MENT', v.i.

To work; to effervesce; to be in motion, or to be excited into sensible internal motion, as the constituent particles of an animal or vegetable fluid. To the vinous fermentation we apply the term work. We may that new cider, beer or wine ferments or works. But work is not applied to the other kinds of fermentation.

FER-MENT', v.t. [L. fermento; Fr. fermenter; Sp. fermentar; It. fermentare.]

To set in motion; to excite internal emotion; to heat; to raise by intestine motion. While youth ferments the blood. Pope.


Capable of fermentation; thus, cider, beer of all kinds, wine, and other vegetable liquors, are fermentable.


Having power to cause fermentation. Brown.

FER-MENT-A'TION, n. [L. fermentatio.]

The sensible internal motion of the constituent particles of animal and vegetable substances, occasioned by a certain degree of heat and moisture, and accompanied by an extrication of gas and heat. Fermentation is followed by a change of properties in the substances fermented, arising from new combinations of their principles. It may be defined, in its most general sense, any spontaneous change which takes place in animal or vegetable substances, after life has ceased. It is of three kinds, vinous, acetous and putrefactive. The term is also applied to other processes, as the panary fermentation, or the raising of bread; but it is limited by some authors, to the vinous and acetous fermentations, which terminate in the production of alcohol or vinegar. Fermentation differs from effervescence. The former is confined to animal and vegetable substances; the latter is applicable to mineral substances. The former is spontaneous; the latter produced by the mixture of bodies. Encyc. Parr. Thomson.


  1. Causing or having power to cause fermentation; as, fermentative heat.
  2. Consisting in fermentation; as, fermentative process.


The state of being fermentative.


Worked; having undergone the process of fermentation.


Working; effervescing.


A buckle or clasp.

FERN, n. [Sax. fearn; G. farn-kraut; D. vaaren.]

A plant of several species constituting the tribe or family of Filices, which have their fructification on the back of the fronds or leaves, or in which the flowers are borne on foot-stalks which overtop the leaves. The stem is the common footstalk or rather the middle rib of the leaves, so that most ferns want the stem altogether. The ferns constitute the first order of cryptogams, in the sexual system. Milne. Encyc.


The goatsucker, a fowl of the genus Caprimulgus; the night jar.

FERN'TI-CLES, n. [plur.]

Freckles on the skin, resembling the seeds of fern. [Not much used.]

FERN'Y, a.

Abounding or overgrown with fern. Barret.

FE-RO'CIOUS, a. [Fr. feroce; Sp. feroz; It. feroce; L. ferox; allied to ferus, wild, fera, a wild animal.]

  1. Fierce; savage; wild; indicating cruelty; as, a ferocious look, countenance or features.
  2. Ravenous; rapacious; as, a ferocious lion.
  3. Fierce; barbarous; cruel; as, ferocious savages.


Fiercely; with savage cruelty.


Savage fierceness; cruelty; ferocity.

FE-ROC'I-TY, n. [L. ferocitas.]

  1. Savage wildness or fierceness; fury; cruelty; as, the ferocity of barbarians.
  2. Fierceness indicating a savage heart; as, ferocity of countenance.

FER'RE-OUS, a. [L. ferreus, from ferrum, iron, Fr. fer, Sp. hierro, from the Celtic; W. fer, solid; feru, to concrete.]

Partaking of iron; pertaining to iron; like iron; made of iron. Brown

FER'RET, n. [D. vret; Fr. furet; G. frett, or frettchen, or frettwiesel; W. fured; Ir. firead; Sp. huron; It. furetto. Fur in W. is subtil, penetrating, cunning.]

  1. An animal of the genus Mustela, or Weasel kind, about inches in length, of a pale yellow color, with red eyes. It is a native of Africa, but has been introduced into Europe. It can not however bear cold, and can not subsist even in France, except in a domestic state. Ferrets are used to catch rabbits. Encyc.
  2. A kind of narrow woolen tape.
  3. Among glass makers, the iron used to try the melted matter, to see if it is fit to work, and to make the rings at the mouths of bottles. Encyc.

FER'RET, v.t.

To drive out of a lurking place, as a ferret does the cony. Johnson. Heylin.