Quarrelsome or aggressive, especially in a confrontational or argumentative manner.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



combative, aggressive, confrontational, bellicose


peaceable, placid, amiable, docile

Example sentences

  • The pugnacious boxer was known for his fierce fighting style.
  • The pugnacious attitude of the salesperson made it difficult to close the deal.
  • The pugnacious man picked a fight with a stranger for no apparent reason.


Pugnacious is an adjective that refers to a person who is quick to argue or fight. This can refer to physical or verbal aggression, and is often used to describe someone who is confrontational and easily irritated. When someone is described as pugnacious, they are typically seen as being argumentative, disagreeable, and uncooperative. This word is often used in a negative way to criticize someone’s behavior, and it implies that the person is not willing to find a peaceful resolution to conflicts