adjective \ˌpəg-ˈnā-shəs\

: showing a readiness or desire to fight or argue

Full Definition of PUGNACIOUS

:  having a quarrelsome or combative nature :  truculent
pug·na·cious·ly adverb
pug·na·cious·ness noun
pug·nac·i·ty \-ˈna-sə-tē\ noun

Examples of PUGNACIOUS

  1. There's one pugnacious member on the committee who won't agree to anything.
  2. <a movie reviewer who is spirited, even pugnacious, when defending her opinions>
  3. That's a bass for you: pugnacious, adaptable and ever ready to demonstrate that the first order of business on any given day, drought or no drought, is eating anything that it can fit its big, powerful mouth around. —Pete Bodo, New York Times, 22 Oct. 1995


Latin pugnac-, pugnax, from pugnare to fight — more at pungent
First Known Use: 1642


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