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 woman was belligerent with officers on the way to the hospital and then refused to get out of the cruiser upon arrival.
Angered by their father’s wanton ways, his long-aggrieved children eventually hatch a plan to get even – a gambit which leads to a bitter row, a bloody fight and a belligerent showdown in the courts.
Last month, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was both belligerent and condescending when a female reporter had the audacity to ask about his team’s troubling tendency to lose close games.
American leaders could repeat the mistakes, indulging in belligerent arrogance and failing to fully understand the consequences of their actions – while innocent American lives are lost.
Trump was belligerent and bombastic, threatening to start or exacerbate a number of conflicts, while ranting about refugees and free trade.
Police say Kennedy remained belligerent and had to be taken into custody.
The suit stems from a March 6 incident in which police responded to the parking lot of the Rite Aid in the 1100 block of Alhambra Boulevard, where John Hernandez, 34, was reported to be belligerent and attempting to fight passers-by.
But national security experts have cautioned that Trump's belligerent language about the situation has ratcheted up tensions to unprecedented levels, rendering a DMZ visit overly provocative.
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
BELLIGERENT Defined for Kids
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).