ag·​gres·​sor ə-ˈgre-sər How to pronounce aggressor (audio)
: one that commits or practices aggression

Example Sentences

Each country accused the other of being the aggressor. a group of smaller states had formed an alliance to deter potential aggressors
Recent Examples on the Web Dallas was the aggressor from start to finish, physically overpowering Tampa Bay and making Tom Brady look anything but the GOAT. Dallas News, 16 Jan. 2023 Past conflicts reveal scant hope for a nation that grants the aggressor a sanctuary. Bing West, National Review, 13 Jan. 2023 The idea of the Apache as a singular, extinct tribe, one that put up a notable fight in the face of a conquering aggressor, is at the core of Natives in Tech's grievance. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 12 Jan. 2023 Taipei has smart plans to stock up on mobile missile launchers, mines and radars; harden its communications infrastructure; enlarge its army and ground-force reserves; and otherwise prepare to inflict sky-high costs on an aggressor. Michael Beckley, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2022 To it, Macron’s comments were a capitulation, offensive musings about the wisdom of humiliating an aggressor when its people are being slaughtered. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 7 June 2022 Officers were unable to determine an aggressor and charged both the man and woman with disorderly conduct. cleveland, 13 May 2022 If an aggressor is determined to prevail, all military force provides is the means to wipe out the people themselves. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 But after protesters objected that the projection minimized Russia’s role as an aggressor, the government took down the light show. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Latin, "attacker, assailant," from aggredī, adgredī "to approach, attack" + -tor, agent suffix — more at aggress

First Known Use

1585, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aggressor was in 1585

Dictionary Entries Near aggressor

Cite this Entry

“Aggressor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ag·​gres·​sor ə-ˈgres-ər How to pronounce aggressor (audio)
: a person or country that attacks without reasonable cause

Medical Definition


ag·​gres·​sor ə-ˈgres-ər How to pronounce aggressor (audio)
: one who exhibits aggression

More from Merriam-Webster on aggressor

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?