Pugnacious is an adjective that describes a person who is inclined to fight, quarrel or argue. It can also refer to a person, animal or thing that is eager or quick to attack or quarrel.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Combative, aggressive, belligerent, contentious, argumentative, bellicose, truculent, militant.


Pacifist, peace-loving, nonviolent, conciliatory.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun pugnacity, pugnacities
Verb None
Adjective pugnacious
Adverb pugnaciously

Example Sentences

  • The boxer was known for his pugnacious attitude both inside and outside the ring.

  • The pugnacious cat was always getting into fights with the other animals in the neighborhood.

  • His pugnacious personality often landed him in trouble with his coworkers.

  • The pugnacious boxer entered the ring, ready to fight and prove his dominance.


The word “pugnacious” comes from the Latin word “pugnare,” meaning “to fight.” The word is often used to describe people who are aggressive or always ready to fight, either verbally or physically. For example, a person who is constantly arguing or picking fights with others may be described as pugnacious. This word can also be used to describe animals that are aggressive, such as a pugnacious dog that is always looking for a fight.

The term pugnacious can also refer to things that are inclined to fight or quarrel. For example, a controversial topic that is likely to cause arguments or a company known for its aggressive business practices might be described as pugnacious.

In some cases, the term “pugnacious” can have positive connotations, particularly in the context of sports or business. In these contexts, being pugnacious may be seen as a desirable trait, as it indicates a competitive spirit and a willingness to fight for what one wants.

Overall, the word “pugnacious” conveys an image of someone or something that is ready and willing to engage in conflict. It can be used to describe negative behaviors, such as verbal or physical aggression, as well as positive traits, such as competitiveness and determination.