1. extremely violent
a savage attack/betrayal
As an adjective 'savage' is used to describe something severe, wild or animalistic and usually violent or uncontrolled. "A savage pack of wolves live in the forest so locals don't often go there." "The man endured a savage attack by youths before he was taken to the hospital." 'Savage' can also refer to something cruel or hostile as in a 'savage attack' (a savage verbal attack), "The young girl launched a savage attack on an assembly of world leaders calling them out on their inactivity in the face of climate change." "The new restaurant received a savage review in the newspaper despite being a hit with customers." Something described as 'savage' might also be something seriously bad or severe. "A savage flood destroyed a number of homes along the river." "The closure of the factory was a savage blow to employment in the town." A dated or old use of the word 'savage' which is now considered to be offensive or un-politically correct was to describe uncivilised societies or ones that didn't adhere to western ideals. "A primitive race of people." - you may find this use in historical accounts but it is unwise to use it today. As a noun, 'a savage' also refers to someone belonging to an uncivilised or primitive group but calling someone a 'savage' in an informal; or colloquial context means that you consider them unmanned or uncivilised. "Use a knife and fork, don't eat with your hands like a savage." Again this term is considered un-politically correct and probably best avoided. As a verb, you can say someone was 'savaged' by an animal if they were viciously attacked or subjected to a vicious verbal attack. "His argument was savaged by the opposition."