noun bel·lig·er·ence \bə-ˈlij-rən(t)s, -ˈli-jə-\

Definition of belligerence

  1. :  an aggressive or truculent attitude, atmosphere, or disposition

Examples of belligerence in a sentence

  1. The result is “Rebirth of a Nation,” a fascinating cultural history that locates the origins of Bush-era belligerence in the anxieties and modernizing impulses of the late 19th century. —“American Macho” P. 17, Beverly Gage, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, June 14, 2009

  2. “We’re never going to play without a heavyweight [because] I need to provide a fear-free environment for my skill guys,” says Brian Burke, Anaheim’s G.M. “But the main reason we have a lot of fighting majors is that we’re committed to a style that leads to [fights]. We prize contact. If you forecheck and bang like we do, sometimes [opponents] turn around and you have to answer the bell. I won’t apologize for that ... In our bottom six forwards, we look for the requisite level of pugnacity, truculence, belligerence, hostility and testosterone.” —“More Than a Big Stick” P. 63, Karl Taro Greenfeld, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Vol. 106 No. 6, February 12, 2007

Did You Know?

Unlike bellicose and bellicosity, the word belligerence can be used at every level from the personal to the global. The belligerence of Marlon Brando's performances as the violent Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire electrified the country in the 1940s and '50s. At the same time, belligerent speeches by leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States throughout the Cold War were keeping the world on edge. Belligerent is even a noun; the terrible war in the Congo in recent years, for example, has involved seven nations as belligerents.

Origin and Etymology of belligerence

see belligerent

First Known Use: 1814

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