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. adjective
    characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight
    “a belligerent tone”
    synonyms: aggressive
    hostile
    characterized by enmity or ill will
  2. adjective
    engaged in war
    belligerent (or warring) nations”
    synonyms: militant, war-ridden, warring
    unpeaceful
    not peaceful
  3. noun
    someone who fights (or is fighting)
    synonyms: battler, combatant, fighter, scrapper
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    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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