Fighting Words: Belli and Milit

If you're spoiling for a fight, learn these words from the Latin roots belli ("war") and milit ("soldier").

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. antebellum
    belonging to a period before a war
    When the antebellum era ended, 90 percent of all U.S. revenue was collected from foreigners who exported goods to the United States.Washington Post (Apr 28, 2017)
  2. bellicose
    having or showing a ready disposition to fight
    Foreign governments are also warning about the increasingly bellicose rhetoric and repressive stance of the government.Seattle Times (Apr 19, 2017)
  3. bellicosity
    a natural disposition to fight
    Should that fail, they were not shy about bursting into fits of bellicosity: cursing or even openly bullying customers.The Name of the Wind
  4. belligerence
    hostile or warlike attitude or nature
    “And you need leaders, whether individuals or entities, that stand for peaceful approaches, as opposed to resorting to belligerence.”New York Times (Oct 7, 2016)
  5. belligerent
    characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight
    The Little Rock School Board now demanded belligerent students be brought under control.Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High
  6. belligerently
    in the manner of someone eager to fight
    “Why?” she demanded belligerently, her mouth curling suddenly into a vehement sneer and her eyes flashing with anger.Catch-22
  7. casus belli
    an event used to justify starting a war
    But none of that provides anything close to a casus belli that might be deemed credible by most of the international community.Time (Nov 3, 2011)
  8. demilitarize
    do away with the military organization and potential of
    "We don't see them as a threat, we should demilitarize this area," he said.Reuters (May 11, 2015)
  9. militance
    a militant aggressiveness
    It preserved its deep note of good-nature, but it sounded obstinate, and her little face was fierce in its militance.Vaizey, George de Horne, Mrs.
  10. militancy
    a combative aggressiveness
    Malaysia’s Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that terrorism, extremism and militancy in the region were key areas of concern.Seattle Times (Jun 2, 2017)
  11. militant
    disposed to warfare or hard-line policies
    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack by any of the militant groups operating in Afghanistan.New York Times (Aug 1, 2017)
  12. militarism
    maintaining a strong force of armed services
    People who want to reduce intervention are passionate about reducing militarism and lowering the number of troops overseas.Slate (Apr 24, 2017)
  13. militaristic
    advocating the use of force in pursuit of policy goals
    The Mycenaeans were more militaristic, with art replete with spears and images of war, whereas Minoan art showed few signs of warfare, Lazaridis says.Science Magazine (Aug 2, 2017)
  14. militarization
    the act of making warlike or ready for war
    Unprecedented militarization of land, sea and air by war industries and powerful new arms devastated ecosystems around the world.Nature (May 2, 2017)
  15. military
    the armed forces of a nation
    He thought for a moment of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” but decided it wasn’t a good idea to invoke the military.Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
  16. militate
    have force or influence; bring about an effect or change
    The diversity of beliefs and views within the group militates against a simple hierarchical structure or clear leadership.BBC (Oct 19, 2016)
  17. militia
    civilians trained as soldiers, not part of the regular army
    The local militia and Federal troops were called in to quell this unplanned and unrehearsed insurrection.Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad
  18. rebel
    a person who takes part in an armed insurrection
    The rebels had run out of ammunition, soldiers, and money.Chains
  19. rebellion
    organized opposition to authority
    He had just come back from England, where his father King Ban of Benwick had been helping the English King to quell a rebellion.The Once and Future King
  20. rebellious
    resisting control or authority
    They’re all rebellious now, they always have something bad to say to other kids, they all want to fight.Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago

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