ag·​gress | \ ə-ˈgres How to pronounce aggress (audio) \
aggressed; aggressing; aggresses

Definition of aggress

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Aggress and its more familiar relatives aggression and aggressive derive from the Latin verb aggredī, meaning "to approach, attack, or undertake." Although the modern word aggress carries only the second of these three meanings, the word could when it was first used in English in the 16th century also mean "to approach." That use is now obsolete. There also exists a noun aggress, which is too rare to qualify for entry in even our unabridged dictionary.  It typically means "an attack," but also has an obsolete meaning of "an approach."

Examples of aggress in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One chapter looks at the hawk-dove game: two players decide independently whether to aggress (play hawk) or acquiesce (play dove). Matthew Hutson, WSJ, 24 Apr. 2022 Asian face even more inscrutable, effacing even their age and gender, while also telegraphing that the Asian wearer was mute and therefore incapable of talking back if aggressed. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2020 Boyish, long-haired young Getty seems very much at home here, sparring good-naturedly with some ladies of the night before being aggressed and whisked away. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Dec. 2017 In that time Moscow also aggressed against countries far closer to central Europe, such as Hungary, and did far more in the way of destabilizing democracies. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 16 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aggress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of aggress

1708, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aggress

in part borrowed from Latin adgressus, aggressus, past participle of adgredī, aggredī "to approach, attack, undertake," from ad- ad- + gradī "to step, go"; in part back-formation from aggression — more at grade entry 1

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The first known use of aggress was in 1708

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Cite this Entry

“Aggress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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