Definition of bellicose
: favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars
bellicosityplay \ˌbe-li-ˈkä-sə-tē\ noun
Examples of bellicose in a sentence
Never in peacetime, perhaps, have the statements of our government officials been more relentlessly bellicose. Yet their actions have been comparatively cautious. —New Yorker, 24 June 1985
For three centuries Viking raiders haunted western Europe. The bellicose Charlemagne himself felt menaced. —Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983
His evident calm, which always infuriated the opposition, must have irritated the bellicose colonel to a point at which he could control himself no longer. —Michael Pearson, Those Damned Rebels, 1972
<bellicose hockey players who always seem to spend more time fighting than playing>
Did You Know?
Since bellicose describes an attitude that hopes for actual war, the word is generally applied to nations and their leaders. In the 20th century, it was commonly used to describe such figures as Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm, Italy's Benito Mussolini, and Japan's General Tojo, leaders who believed their countries had everything to gain by starting wars. The international relations of a nation with a bellicose foreign policy tend to be stormy and difficult, and bellicosity usually makes the rest of the world very uneasy.
Origin and Etymology of bellicose
Middle English, from Latin bellicosus, from bellicus of war, from bellum war
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of bellicose
BELLICOSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bellicose for English Language Learners
: having or showing a tendency to argue or fight
Seen and Heard
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