Thesaurus

belligerent

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of belligerent

(Entry 1 of 2)

belligerent

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of belligerent (Entry 2 of 2)

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Frequently Asked Questions About belligerent

How is the word belligerent distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of belligerent are bellicose, contentious, pugnacious, and quarrelsome. While all these words mean "having an aggressive or fighting attitude," belligerent often implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities.

belligerent nations

When would bellicose be a good substitute for belligerent?

The words bellicose and belligerent can be used in similar contexts, but bellicose suggests a disposition to fight.

a drunk in a bellicose mood

Where would contentious be a reasonable alternative to belligerent?

The synonyms contentious and belligerent are sometimes interchangeable, but contentious implies perverse and irritating fondness for arguing and quarreling.

wearied by his contentious disposition

When might pugnacious be a better fit than belligerent?

While the synonyms pugnacious and belligerent are close in meaning, pugnacious suggests a disposition that takes pleasure in personal combat.

a pugnacious gangster

When is it sensible to use quarrelsome instead of belligerent?

The words quarrelsome and belligerent are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, quarrelsome stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause.

the heat made us all quarrelsome

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Time Traveler for belligerent

Time Traveler

The first known use of belligerent was in 1577

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Cite this Entry

“Belligerent.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/belligerent. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on belligerent

Dictionary: Definition of belligerent

Nglish: Translation of belligerent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belligerent for Arabic Speakers

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