Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

bellicose

play
adjective bel·li·cose \ˈbe-li-ˌkōs\

Simple Definition of bellicose

  • : having or showing a tendency to argue or fight

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of bellicose

  1. :  favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars

bellicosity play \ˌbe-li-ˈkä-sə-tē\ noun

Examples of bellicose in a sentence

  1. Never in peacetime, perhaps, have the statements of our government officials been more relentlessly bellicose. Yet their actions have been comparatively cautious. —New Yorker, 24 June 1985

  2. For three centuries Viking raiders haunted western Europe. The bellicose Charlemagne himself felt menaced. —Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983

  3. His evident calm, which always infuriated the opposition, must have irritated the bellicose colonel to a point at which he could control himself no longer. —Michael Pearson, Those Damned Rebels, 1972

  4. <bellicose hockey players who always seem to spend more time fighting than playing>



Origin of bellicose

Middle English, from Latin bellicosus, from bellicus of war, from bellum war


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of bellicose

belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, quarrelsome, contentious mean having an aggressive or fighting attitude. belligerent often implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities <belligerent nations>. bellicose suggests a disposition to fight <a drunk in a bellicose mood>. pugnacious suggests a disposition that takes pleasure in personal combat <a pugnacious gangster>. quarrelsome stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause <the heat made us all quarrelsome>. contentious implies perverse and irritating fondness for arguing and quarreling <wearied by his contentious disposition>.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bellicose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to eat gluttonously or ravenously

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt angry oily maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ