aggressive

adjective

ag·​gres·​sive ə-ˈgre-siv How to pronounce aggressive (audio)
1
a
: tending toward or exhibiting aggression
aggressive behavior
b
: marked by combative readiness
an aggressive fighter
2
a
: marked by obtrusive energy and self-assertiveness
a rude, aggressive personality
b
: marked by driving forceful energy or initiative : enterprising
an aggressive salesman
3
: strong or emphatic in effect or intent
aggressive colors
aggressive flavors
4
: growing, developing, or spreading rapidly
aggressive bone tumors
5
: more severe, intensive, or comprehensive than usual especially in dosage or extent
aggressive chemotherapy
aggressively adverb
aggressiveness noun
aggressivity noun
Choose the Right Synonym for aggressive

aggressive, militant, assertive, self-assertive mean obtrusively energetic especially in pursuing particular goals.

aggressive implies a disposition to dominate often in disregard of others' rights or in determined and energetic pursuit of one's ends.

aggressive in his business dealings

militant also implies a fighting disposition but suggests not self-seeking but devotion to a cause, movement, or principle.

militant protesters rallied against the new law

assertive suggests bold self-confidence in expression of opinion.

the more assertive speakers dominated the forum

self-assertive connotes forwardness or brash self-confidence.

a self-assertive young upstart

Examples of aggressive in a Sentence

He started to get aggressive and began to shout. an aggressive lawyer whose tactics have made people angry The team plays a very aggressive style of defense. The company took aggressive steps to prevent illegal use of their equipment. The publisher has been very aggressive in promoting the book. The city began an aggressive campaign to encourage recycling. an aggressive form of cancer
Recent Examples on the Web Surfing can feel so glamorous but here, everyone is aggressive and territorial. Marta Balaga, Variety, 18 May 2024 While bark scorpions are not typically aggressive, their sting can cause painful symptoms, especially in vulnerable populations such as young children or older adults. Tiffany Acosta, The Arizona Republic, 18 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for aggressive 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aggressive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from New Latin aggressīvus, from Latin aggressus, past participle of aggredī "to step up to, approach, attack" + -īvus -ive — more at aggress

First Known Use

1716, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of aggressive was in 1716

Dictionary Entries Near aggressive

Cite this Entry

“Aggressive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aggressive. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

aggressive

adjective
ag·​gres·​sive ə-ˈgres-iv How to pronounce aggressive (audio)
1
a
: showing readiness to attack
an aggressive dog
b
: practicing aggression
an aggressive nation
2
: being forceful in getting things done
an aggressive sales campaign
3
: growing, developing, or spreading rapidly
aggressive weeds
aggressively adverb
aggressiveness noun

Medical Definition

aggressive

adjective
ag·​gres·​sive ə-ˈgres-iv How to pronounce aggressive (audio)
1
: tending toward or exhibiting aggression
aggressive behavior
2
: growing, developing, or spreading rapidly
aggressive bone tumors
3
: more severe, intensive, or comprehensive than usual especially in dosage or extent
aggressive chemotherapy
aggressive surgical intervention
compare conservative
aggressively adverb
aggressiveness noun
aggressivity noun
plural aggressivities

More from Merriam-Webster on aggressive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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