ag·​gres·​sion | \ ə-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce aggression (audio) \

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

Charlotte took advantage of LouCity's aggression though, scoring in the 12th minute when Dom Oduro put home a cross on a counter to put the Independence up. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "Luke Spencer's second half goal earns Louisville City FC a draw with Charlotte," 22 June 2019 President Trump’s willful paralysis in the face of Kremlin aggression. David Goldfischer, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Gardner has put pressure on Russia; now he must hold the president accountable," 21 June 2019 Further studies have demonstrated increased aggression and behavioral outbursts (the things the parent was probably trying to prevent in the first place) when hitting is used as punishment. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Why Ryan Michelle Bathe and Husband Sterling K. Brown Chose Not To Spank Their Kids," 20 June 2019 His speed and aggression allow the A’s corner outfielders to shade the lines. Scott Ostler,, "A’s Ramon Laureano is movin’ on up, soaring above the grind," 19 June 2019 Meanwhile, the Turkish Vans commonly showed aggression toward both humans and other cats. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Your Cat’s Attitude Actually Is Closely Linked to Its Breed, Survey Shows," 19 June 2019 Similar players have not dissuaded the Astros or Pettis from arranging aggression. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros begin road trip with loss to Reds," 18 June 2019 There's a burning rivalry here, but it's cloaked under smiles and passive aggression — not unlike how the women of Desperate Housewives operated when confronted with mean PTA moms and nosy neighbors. Kaitlin Reilly,, "With Grand Hotel, Eva Longoria Puts More Women Behind The Camera — & More Man Candy In Front Of It," 15 June 2019 Iranian officials suggested that the damage to the tankers was meant to prevent friendly dialogue and provoke aggression. Richard Pérez-peña,, "In Gulf of Oman, 2 tankers are attacked, raising fears of wider conflict," 13 June 2019

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

26 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce aggression (audio) \

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 How to pronounce aggression (audio) \

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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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