Meaning of “wild” in the English Dictionary

"wild" in British English

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wildadjective

uk /waɪld/ us /waɪld/

wild adjective (NOT CONTROLLED)

B2 uncontrolled, violent, or extreme:

a wild party
wild dancing
The audience burst into wild applause.
When I told him what I'd done, he went wild (= became very angry).
The children were wild with excitement (= were extremely excited).
Her eyes were wild/She had a wild look in her eyes (= her eyes were wide open, as if frightened or mentally ill).
His hair was wild (= long and untidy) and his clothes full of holes.
There have been wild (= extreme) variations in the level of spending.
They get some wild weather (= many severe storms) in the north.
It was a wild (= stormy or very windy) night, with the wind howling and the rain pouring down.

slang very unusual, often in a way that is attractive or exciting:

Those are wild trousers you're wearing, Maddy.

More examples

  • Most parents try to steer a middle course between imposing very strict discipline and letting their kids run wild.
  • Ben took a wild slash at the ball and luckily managed to hit it.
  • The drunk took a wild swing at Harry.
  • When he runs his fingers through my hair, it drives me wild!
  • Peter used to throw really wild parties.

wild adjective (NATURAL)

A2 used to refer to plants or animals that live or grow independently of people, in natural conditions and with natural characteristics:

wild grasses
a herd of wild horses
These herbs grow wild in the area.

B2 Wild land is not used to grow crops and has few people living in it:

More examples

  • The field was ablaze with poppies and wild flowers.
  • I had a rather alarming encounter with a wild pig.
  • Most wild animals won't attack unless they are provoked.
  • The zebra is a wild African horse with black and white stripes.
  • The river is fringed with wild flowers.
wildness
noun [ U ] uk /ˈwaɪld.nəs/ us /ˈwaɪld.nəs/

the wildness (= natural and extreme beauty) of the Western Highlands

wildnoun

uk /waɪld/ us /waɪld/
in the wild

in natural conditions, independent of humans:

Animals would produce more young in the wild than they do in the zoo.
in the wilds (of somewhere)

in an area that is far from where people usually live and difficult to get to, and that is not considered easy to live in:

She lives somewhere in the wilds of Borneo.

(Definition of “wild” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"wild" in American English

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wildadjective, adverb [ -er/-est only ]

us /wɑɪld/

wild adjective, adverb [ -er/-est only ] (NATURAL)

living or growing independently of people, in natural conditions, and with natural characteristics:

wild turkeys
These herbs grow wild.

wildadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /wɑɪld/

wild adjective [ -er/-est only ] (NOT CONTROLLED)

extreme or violent and not controlled:

He led a wild life.
When I told him what I’d done, he went wild (= became angry).
I’ll make a wild guess (= one not based on careful thought).

slang Wild also means excellent, special, or unusual:

The music they play is just wild.

Your wildest dreams are your hopes or thoughts about the best things that could happen in your future:

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d win.

wildnoun [ U ]

us /wɑɪld/

wild noun [ U ] (NATURAL)

places that have few towns or roads, are difficult to get to, and lack conveniences:

In Kenya we saw elephants and lions in the wild.

(Definition of “wild” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)