as in aggressive
feeling or displaying eagerness to fight bellicose hockey players who seem to spend more time fighting than playing

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How is the word bellicose distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of bellicose are belligerent, contentious, pugnacious, and quarrelsome. While all these words mean "having an aggressive or fighting attitude," bellicose suggests a disposition to fight.

a drunk in a bellicose mood

Where would belligerent be a reasonable alternative to bellicose?

In some situations, the words belligerent and bellicose are roughly equivalent. However, belligerent often implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities.

belligerent nations

When could contentious be used to replace bellicose?

Although the words contentious and bellicose have much in common, contentious implies perverse and irritating fondness for arguing and quarreling.

wearied by his contentious disposition

When might pugnacious be a better fit than bellicose?

The words pugnacious and bellicose can be used in similar contexts, but pugnacious suggests a disposition that takes pleasure in personal combat.

a pugnacious gangster

When is quarrelsome a more appropriate choice than bellicose?

While the synonyms quarrelsome and bellicose are close in meaning, quarrelsome stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause.

the heat made us all quarrelsome

Thesaurus Entries Near bellicose

Cite this Entry

“Bellicose.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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