Examples of belligerent in a Sentence
- … it took very little alcohol to make him belligerent, and he became even more thuggish and incoherent when he threw in a few sleeping pills as well. —Christopher Hitchens, New York Times Book Review, 8 Oct. 2000
- Coots are belligerent, territorial, quick-tempered birds. Nothing irritates a coot like another coot … —Kenneth Brower, Smithsonian, December 1998
- Instead, we revered the guys on the streets, the thugs who were brazen and belligerent. They wore their hats backwards, left their belt buckles unfastened and shoelaces untied. —Nathan McCall, Washington Post, 25-31 Mar. 1991
- She was a brigantine, a small two-masted vessel, refitted for belligerent action in the newly created American Navy. —Barbara W. Tuchman, The First Salute, 1988
He was drunk and belligerent.
the coach became quite belligerent and spit at an umpire after being thrown out of the game
Recent Examples of belligerent from the Web
The contamination could also be altering the crocs' behavior, perhaps making them more belligerent.
If a recruit is belligerent or unmotivated, there are by-the-book ways to get him out.
The same kind of brain interventions being explored to reduce the need for sleep in the military could be adapted to make soldiers more belligerent or fearless.
Speck Mellencamp was said to be uncooperative and belligerent with both officers and medics who were trying to treat him.
Keith Payne, the director of operations for Mitigation Dynamics, said his training emphasizes toning down situations when patients become belligerent.
The officer took the increasingly belligerent man home.
One of the men got upset and became belligerent, screaming at the bouncer.
At full throat, the new RS5 sounds pissed off, with fat blats on upshifts and a belligerent growl not far off the old V-8’s.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belligerent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
belligerent, belligerents, and belligerence
Belligerent may function as either an adjective or a noun. As an adjective, it has two primary meanings, each of which corresponds to the two senses of its noun form.
The older sense (“waging war”) is generally used to refer to the actions or combatants of a nation at war, or to the nation itself ("belligerent operations"; "belligerent troops"; “the belligerent state”); it is paralleled by the earliest sense of the noun, “a nation at war” (“the belligerents assembled at the peace conference”). The second sense of belligerent (“inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness”), which usually applies to persons or animals, or to their attitudes or actions, likewise parallels the second sense of the noun (“a person taking part in a fight”). A related noun belligerence refers to “an aggressive or truculent attitude, atmosphere, or disposition” that can be either individual or global.
Origin and Etymology of belligerent
First Known Use: 1577See Words from the same year
Synonymsaggressive, agonistic, argumentative, assaultive, bellicose, brawly, chippy, combative, confrontational, contentious, discordant, disputatious, feisty, gladiatorial, militant, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent, warlike, on the warpath
Antonymsnonaggressive, nonbelligerent, pacific, peaceable, peaceful, unbelligerent, uncombative, uncontentious
Related Wordsantagonistic, fierce, hostile, hot-tempered; acidic, bearish, bilious, bristly, choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, disagreeable, dyspeptic, fractious, fretful, grouchy, grumpy, huffy, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, irascible, irritable, ornery, peevish, pettish, petulant, prickly, querulous, rude, snappish, snappy, stroppy [British], surly, testy, touchy, ugly, waspish; savage, vicious; battling, fighting, warring
Near Antonymsanti-imperialist, antimilitarist, unwarlike; affable, amiable, amicable, benevolent, complaisant, conciliatory, cordial, easygoing, friendly, genial, good-natured, good-tempered, gracious, ingratiating, kindhearted, obliging, pleasant, sociable; calm, quiet, relaxed, serene, tranquil; benign, gentle, kindly, mild
Synonym Discussion of belligerent
- belligerent nations
- a drunk in a bellicose mood
- a pugnacious gangster
- the heat made us all quarrelsome
- wearied by his contentious disposition
BELLIGERENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of belligerent for English Language Learners
: angry and aggressive : feeling or showing readiness to fight
: fighting a war : engaged in a war
BELLIGERENT Defined for Kids
Definition of belligerent for Students
- belligerent remarks
legal Definition of belligerent
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up belligerent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).