ag·​gres·​sion | \ə-ˈgre-shən \

Definition of aggression 

1 : a forceful action or procedure (such as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master

2 : the practice of making attacks or encroachments especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another warned that any act of aggression could start a war

3 : hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration Aggression is often the expression of pent-up rage.

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Examples of aggression in a Sentence

He has a lot of pent-up aggression. behavior that is likely to provoke aggression dangerous dogs showing aggression toward people The government says that it will view any attempt to fly over its territory as an act of aggression.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There are no opportunities for good deals with Russian aggression. David Satter, WSJ, "Putin’s Aggression Is the Issue in Helsinki," 15 July 2018 On top of that, Neuropeptide Y, which is also released when your blood sugar plunges, gives you that hungry feeling which is associated with aggression., "Your stressful office is making you hangry," 25 June 2018 Despite only having four shots on goal compared to Germany's nine, Mexico set up many quality chances and were playing with aggression throughout the entire 90 minutes., "Mexico Boss Juan Carlos Osorio is Building Back the Trust of El Tri's Fans," 19 June 2018 Some Denver citizens are concerned about police treating minorities with aggression. Elizabeth Elkin And Marlena Baldacci, CNN, "Denver police will start collecting racial data on people they pull over," 14 June 2018 Getting around Greater Boston is awful and getting worse, and many people react to the stress with irrational aggression. Robin Abrahams,, "Advice: She nearly backed over me at Market Basket, and then blamed me," 22 May 2018 The Portland Trail Blazers duo usually plays with as much aggression as any guard tandem in the league. William Guillory,, "Pelicans prepare for different mindset from Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum," 17 Apr. 2018 Gorbachev’s grandchildren recognise in each other a dissatisfaction with the aggression, degradation and lies that underpin Mr Putin’s rule. The Economist, "A new generation is rising in Russia," 22 Mar. 2018 Four years ago, the world marveled at Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s aggression on Germany’s march to the trophy. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "France to Hugo Lloris: Get Back in Goal," 13 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of aggression

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aggression

borrowed from French & Latin; French agression, going back to Middle French, "attack," borrowed from Latin aggressiōn-, aggressiō, from aggredī "to approach, attack" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at aggress

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Statistics for aggression

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aggression

The first known use of aggression was in 1611

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More Definitions for aggression



English Language Learners Definition of aggression

: angry or violent behavior or feelings

: hostile action against another country, government, etc.


ag·​gres·​sion | \ə-ˈgre-shən \

Kids Definition of aggression

1 : angry or violent behavior or feelings Young children must learn to use words rather than physical aggression.

2 : hostile action made without reasonable cause military aggression


ag·​gres·​sion | \ə-ˈgresh-ən \

Medical Definition of aggression 

: hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook

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Comments on aggression

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


by force of circumstances

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