as in aggressive
feeling or displaying eagerness to fight a quarrelsome student who was always being sent to the principal's office for starting fights in the halls

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms

as in contentious
given to arguing you're so quarrelsome: you can never do anything without a fuss

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How is the word quarrelsome distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of quarrelsome are bellicose, belligerent, contentious, and pugnacious. While all these words mean "having an aggressive or fighting attitude," quarrelsome stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause.

the heat made us all quarrelsome

When might bellicose be a better fit than quarrelsome?

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

a drunk in a bellicose mood

In what contexts can belligerent take the place of quarrelsome?

Although the words belligerent and quarrelsome have much in common, belligerent often implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities.

belligerent nations

When is it sensible to use contentious instead of quarrelsome?

While the synonyms contentious and quarrelsome are close in meaning, contentious implies perverse and irritating fondness for arguing and quarreling.

wearied by his contentious disposition

When can pugnacious be used instead of quarrelsome?

In some situations, the words pugnacious and quarrelsome are roughly equivalent. However, pugnacious suggests a disposition that takes pleasure in personal combat.

a pugnacious gangster

Thesaurus Entries Near quarrelsome

Cite this Entry

“Quarrelsome.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/quarrelsome. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

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