ag·​gres·​sor | \ ə-ˈgre-sər How to pronounce aggressor (audio) \

Definition of aggressor

: one that commits or practices aggression

Synonyms for aggressor


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Examples of aggressor in a Sentence

Each country accused the other of being the aggressor. these pocket-size states had formed an alliance to deter potential aggressors
Recent Examples on the Web Ultimately, the jury will have to consider the moments before the shotgun blasts rang out and decide which man was the aggressor and therefore not legitimately acting in self-defense, Redmon said. Kate Brumback, ajc, 14 Nov. 2021 Dalvin Cook is being sued by a former girlfriend, who accused him of violently assaulting her nearly a year ago, though Cook has contended the woman was the aggressor. New York Times, 10 Nov. 2021 To be deterred, the aggressor must believe it’s going to suffer a devastating second strike. David Axe, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 After two other patrons pulled him off the woman, the aggressor left. John Benson, cleveland, 13 Oct. 2021 Hall’s defense attorney, Nicole Pifari, presented a different version of events, one in which Hall was the victim, rather than the aggressor. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Oct. 2021 After spending the early part of the game wondering when he would get hit, Larkin opted to be the aggressor and initiated contact. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 3 Oct. 2021 The attack set the tone for the debate, with each candidate taking on the other in personal terms, with Youngkin often the aggressor. Steve Peoples, ajc, 29 Sep. 2021 Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party provided a home for anti-Western politics that portrays America as the real aggressor and makes apologies for authoritarian regimes from Caracas to Tehran. David A. Cowan, National Review, 20 Aug. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of aggressor

1585, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aggressor

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

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Time Traveler for aggressor

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The first known use of aggressor was in 1585

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Statistics for aggressor

Last Updated

17 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aggressor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for aggressor



English Language Learners Definition of aggressor

: a person or country that attacks another : a person or country that starts a fight or war


ag·​gres·​sor | \ ə-ˈgre-sər How to pronounce aggressor (audio) \

Kids Definition of aggressor

: a person or a country that engages in hostile action without reasonable cause


ag·​gres·​sor | \ ə-ˈgres-ər How to pronounce aggressor (audio) \

Medical Definition of aggressor

: one who exhibits aggression

More from Merriam-Webster on aggressor

Nglish: Translation of aggressor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aggressor for Arabic Speakers


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