belligerent

If someone is belligerent, they're eager to fight. It's a good idea to avoid hardcore hockey fans after their team loses — they tend to be belligerent.

Belligerent comes from the Latin word bellum, for "war." You can use it to talk about actual wars — the nations taking part in a war are called belligerents — but usually belligerent describes a psychological disposition. If you're running a school for aggressive boys, do plenty of arts and crafts to prevent them from becoming too belligerent. The stress is on the second syllable: bə-LIJ-ə-rənt.

DEFINITIONS OF: belligerent

1

adj characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight

“a belligerent tone”
Synonyms:
aggressive
hostile
characterized by enmity or ill will

adj engaged in war

belligerent (or warring) nations”
Synonyms:
militant, war-ridden, warring
unpeaceful
not peaceful

n someone who fights (or is fighting)

Synonyms:
battler, combatant, fighter, scrapper
Examples:
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Alexander the Great
king of Macedon; conqueror of Greece and Egypt and Persia; founder of Alexandria (356-323 BC)
Cassius Marcellus Clay
United States prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942)
James John Corbett
United States heavyweight boxing champion (1866-1933)
William Harrison Dempsey
United States prizefighter who was world heavyweight champion (1895-1983)
Charles Liston
United States prizefighter who lost his world heavyweight championship to Cassius Clay in 1964 (1932-1970)
Joseph Louis Barrow
United States prizefighter who was world heavyweight champion for 12 years (1914-1981)
Rocco Marciano
United States prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship in 1952 (1924-1969)
Sugar Ray Robinson
United States prizefighter who won the world middleweight championship five times and the world welterweight championship once (1921-1989)
James Joseph Tunney
United States prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship by defeating Jack Dempsey twice (1898-1978)
Michael Gerald Tyson
United States prizefighter who was world heavyweight champion (born in 1966)
Types:
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defender, withstander
a fighter who holds out against attack
boxer, pugilist
someone who fights with his fists for sport
brawler
a fighter (especially one who participates in brawls)
butter
a fighter who strikes the opponent with his head
fencer, swordsman
someone skilled at fencing
gladiator
(ancient Rome) a professional combatant or a captive who entertained the public by engaging in mortal combat
gouger
an attacker who gouges out the antagonist's eye
gamecock, hell-kite, hell-rooster
someone who is a very fierce fighter
mauler
a fighter who batters the opponent
skirmisher
someone who skirmishes (e.g., as a member of a scouting party)
street fighter, tough
someone who learned to fight in the streets rather than being formally trained in the sport of boxing
master, superior, victor
a combatant who is able to defeat rivals
grappler, matman, wrestler
combatant who tries to throw opponent to the ground
bantamweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 119 pounds
bantamweight
weighs 115-126 pounds
slogger, slugger
a boxer noted for an ability to deliver hard punches
conqueror, vanquisher
someone who is victorious by force of arms
featherweight
weighs 126-139 pounds
featherweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 126 pounds
flyweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 112 pounds
flyweight
weighs no more than 115 pounds
heavyweight
a wrestler who weighs more than 214 pounds
heavyweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 201 pounds
junior featherweight
weighs no more than 122 pounds
junior lightweight
weighs no more than 130 pounds
junior middleweight
weighs no more than 154 pounds
junior welterweight
weighs no more than 140 pounds
light flyweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 106 pounds
light heavyweight
a wrestler who weighs 192-214 pounds
light heavyweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 179 pounds
light middleweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 156 pounds
lightweight
a wrestler who weighs 139-154 pounds
lightweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 132 pounds
light welterweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 140 pounds
middleweight
a wrestler who weighs 172-192 pounds
middleweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 165 pounds
gladiator, prizefighter
a professional boxer
puncher
someone who delivers punches
sparring mate, sparring partner
a boxer who spars with another boxer who is training for an important fight
palooka, stumblebum
a second-rate prize fighter
sumo wrestler
a wrestler who participates in sumo (a Japanese form of wrestling)
super heavyweight
an amateur boxer who weighs more than 201 pounds
welterweight
a wrestler who weighs 154-172 pounds
welterweight
an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 148 pounds
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being
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