Aggressively hostile or combative


US English

UK English

Part of speech



aggressive, hostile, confrontational, militant, combative, warlike


peaceful, non-violent, conciliatory, friendly, non-belligerent

Example sentences

  • The nation was known for its belligerent foreign policy, always threatening military action.
  • He was criticized for his belligerent attitude, picking fights with others for no reason.
  • The union adopted a belligerent stance, ready to go on strike if their demands were not met.


Belligerent is used to describe someone or something that is aggressively hostile or combative. It is often used to describe a person’s behavior or demeanor, such as their approach to conflict or their manner of speaking, and can also be used to describe the behavior or policies of nations or groups. Belligerent behavior is typically seen as negative and provocative, as it can lead to conflict and harm to others. However, it is important to note that in some situations, a belligerent stance may be necessary or appropriate in order to defend oneself or to achieve a goal. In these cases, belligerence may be seen as a form of strength or determination. Belligerence can also reflect a desire for power or control, and may be driven by factors such as anger, frustration, or a need to assert oneself. Ultimately, the term belligerent is a complex and nuanced one, with different connotations depending on the context in which it is used