mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), of animals, "ferocious;" c. 1300, "wild, undomesticated, untamed," also "wild, uncultivated" (of land or places), from Old French sauvage, salvage "wild, savage, untamed, strange, pagan," from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration (vowel assimilation) of silvaticus "wild, woodland," literally "of the woods," from silva "forest, grove" (see sylvan).
Of persons, "indomitable, valiant," also "fierce, bold, cruel" (c. 1300); from late 14c., of persons or behavior, "wild, barbarous, uncivilized;" c. 1400 as "reckless, ungovernable," and by 1610s as "pertaining to or characteristic of savage peoples, living in the lowest condition of development." In heraldry, "naked or clothed in foliage" (1570s). The -l- often was restored in 16c.-17c. English spelling.
in reference to the competitive sport of finding one's way in the wild with the aid of a map and a compass, 1948, from orient (v.).
heterogeneous people of eastern Burma, 1759 (as Carian), from Burmese ka-reng "wild, dirty, low-caste man" [OED].
c. 1200, beste, "one of the lower animals" (opposed to man), especially "a four-footed animal," also "a marvelous creature, a monster" (mermaids, werewolves, lamia, satyrs, the beast of the Apocalypse), "a brutish or stupid man," from Old French beste "animal, wild beast," figuratively "fool, idiot" (11c., Modern French bête), from Vulgar Latin *besta, from Latin bestia "beast, wild animal," which is of unknown origin.
herbal plant of the Delphinium family, c. 1400, from Latin staphisagria, from Greek staphis agria, literally "wild raisin," from staphis "raisin" (according to Klein, probably related to staphyle "bunch of grapes") + agria, fem. of agrios "wild," literally "living in the fields," from agros "field" (from PIE root *agro- "field").
"that which honks," especially the wild goose of North America, agent noun from honk (v.).
1560s, "wild, unruly" (originally in reference to hawks), from French haggard, probably from Old French faulcon hagard "wild falcon," literally "falcon of the woods," from hagard, hagart, from Middle High German hag "hedge, copse, wood," from Proto-Germanic *hagon, from PIE root *kagh- "to catch, seize;" also "wickerwork, fence" (see hedge (n.)). OED, however, finds this derivation "very doubtful." Sense perhaps reinforced by Low German hager "gaunt, haggard." Sense of "with a haunted and wild expression" first recorded 1690s; that of "careworn" first recorded 1853. Sense influenced by association with hag. Related: Haggardly; haggardness.
the Australian dog, of wolf-like appearance and very fierce, 1789, Native Australian name, from Dharruk (language formerly spoken in the area of Sydney) /din-go/ "tame dog," though the English used it to describe wild Australian dogs. Bushmen continue to call the animal by the Dharruk term /warrigal/ "wild dog." Plural dingoes.
"put ashore on a desolate island or coast" by way of punishment, 1724 (implied in marooning), earlier "to be lost in the wild" (1690s); from maroon, maron (n.) "fugitive black slave living in the wilder parts of Dutch Guyana or Jamaica and other West Indies islands" (1660s), earlier symeron (1620s), from French marron, simarron, said to be a corruption of Spanish cimmaron "wild, untamed, unruly, fugitive" (as in Cuban negro cimarron "a fugitive black slave"). This is from Old Spanish cimarra "thicket," which is probably from cima "summit, top" (from Latin cyma "sprout"), and the notion is of living wild in the mountains. Related: Marooned.