belligerent 1 of 2

as in aggressive
feeling or displaying eagerness to fight the player became quite belligerent and was thrown out of the game

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms


2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near belligerent

Cite this Entry

“Belligerent.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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