aggressive

adjective ag·gres·sive \ ə-ˈgre-siv \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of aggressive

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

play \ˌa-ˌgre-ˈsi-və-tē\ noun

Examples of aggressive in a Sentence

  1. He started to get aggressive and began to shout.

  2. an aggressive lawyer whose tactics have made people angry

  3. The team plays a very aggressive style of defense.

  4. The company took aggressive steps to prevent illegal use of their equipment.

  5. The publisher has been very aggressive in promoting the book.

  6. The city began an aggressive campaign to encourage recycling.

  7. an aggressive form of cancer

Recent Examples of aggressive from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of aggressive

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

AGGRESSIVE Defined for English Language Learners

aggressive

adjective

Definition of aggressive for English Language Learners

  • : ready and willing to fight, argue, etc. : feeling or showing aggression

  • : using forceful methods to succeed or to do something

  • medical : very severe


AGGRESSIVE Defined for Kids

aggressive

adjective ag·gres·sive \ ə-ˈgre-siv \

Definition of aggressive for Students

1 : showing a readiness to fight or argue
  • an aggressive dog
  • aggressive behavior
2 : engaging in hostile action without reasonable cause
  • an aggressive nation
3 : being forceful in getting things done
  • an overly aggressive salesperson

aggressively

adverb

aggressiveness

noun

Medical Dictionary

aggressive

adjective ag·gres·sive \ ə-ˈgres-iv \

medical Definition of aggressive

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

play \ˌag-ˌre-ˈsiv-ət-ē\ noun plural -ties


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