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belligerent

adjective

Definition: 1. hostile, and ready to fight or go to war; 2. taking part or engaged in warfare; 3. characteristic of hostility or readiness to fight

Synonyms: combative, hostile, bellicose, contentious, warlike, aggressive, antagonistic, pugnacious, quarrelsome

Antonyms: friendly, peaceful, neutral, conciliatory

Tips: Belligerent originates from the Latin belligerare, "to wage war." The word belligerent can also be used as a noun to denote a person who is fighting or a country engaged in war. Many people confuse the word belligerent to mean excessively drunk, but this is only because people who are excessively drunk may often become belligerent--wanting to fight. The state of being belligerent (wanting to fight) is called belligerence. See the related word bellicose, which has the same Latin root. Belligerent is similar in meaning to irascible and petulant. See irascible for additional analysis.

Usage Examples:

It was impossible to explain myself when he was so belligerent with anger. (combative, aggressive, bellicose)

The woman was shocked and embarrassed when her husband became belligerent with her in public. (combative, pugnacious, aggressive)

Her general state of belligerence usually makes people at the office tip-toe around her. (anger, hostility, wishing to fight or argue) noun

I was forced to hang up the phone on a client who became belligerent with me. (combative, contentious, quarrelsome)


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