Thesaurus

aggressive

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of aggressive

1 having or showing a bold forcefulness in the pursuit of a goal
  • if you don't take a more aggressive approach to this yard pretty soon, the weeds are going to take over completely

Synonyms for aggressive

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Antonyms for aggressive

3 marked by or uttered with forcefulness
  • the team's game strategy depends on a very aggressive style of defense

Synonyms for aggressive

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Antonyms for aggressive

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Frequently Asked Questions About aggressive

How does the adjective aggressive contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of aggressive are assertive, militant, and self-assertive. While all these words mean "obtrusively energetic especially in pursuing particular goals," aggressive implies a disposition to dominate often in disregard of others' rights or in determined and energetic pursuit of one's ends.

aggressive in his business dealings

When is assertive a more appropriate choice than aggressive?

Although the words assertive and aggressive have much in common, assertive suggests bold self-confidence in expression of opinion.

the more assertive speakers dominated the forum

In what contexts can militant take the place of aggressive?

In some situations, the words militant and aggressive are roughly equivalent. However, militant also implies a fighting disposition but suggests not self-seeking but devotion to a cause, movement, or principle.

militant protesters rallied against the new law

Where would self-assertive be a reasonable alternative to aggressive?

The words self-assertive and aggressive are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, self-assertive connotes forwardness or brash self-confidence.

a self-assertive young upstart

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Time Traveler for aggressive

Time Traveler

The first known use of aggressive was in 1716

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Cite this Entry

“Aggressive.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/aggressive. Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on aggressive

Dictionary: Definition of aggressive

Medical Dictionary: Definition of aggressive

Nglish: Translation of aggressive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aggressive for Arabic Speakers

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