Aggressively hostile or combative


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



aggressive, hostile, confrontational, militant, combative, warlike


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

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun belligerent, belligerence, belligerents, belligerences, belligerency, belligerencies
Verb None
Adjective belligerent
Adverb belligerently

Example Sentences

  • The belligerent individual, fueled by anger and aggression, initiated a series of violent confrontations.

  • The belligerent nations engaged in a prolonged conflict, with each side fiercely asserting their military superiority.

  • His belligerent attitude and confrontational language created an atmosphere of hostility and tension.

  • The belligerent protestors clashed with law enforcement, leading to a chaotic and volatile situation.


The word “belligerent” derives from the Latin term “bellum,” meaning “war,” and “gerere,” meaning “to wage.” It encompasses the concept of engaging in hostile or aggressive behavior, particularly in the context of conflict or warfare. “Belligerent” is an adjective that describes individuals, groups, or nations displaying a combative or confrontational attitude.

The prefix “bel-” indicates a sense of war or conflict, while the root “-gerent” denotes an act of carrying out or waging. This combination represents the essence of the term, highlighting an inclination towards hostility and a readiness to engage in disputes or conflicts.

The usage of “belligerent” is commonly associated with international relations and military contexts. It describes a party actively involved in or prepared for war, displaying an aggressive or assertive approach towards achieving their objectives. In broader contexts, “belligerent” can be used to characterize individuals or groups exhibiting a contentious or argumentative demeanor, often marked by a confrontational or antagonistic attitude.

“Bellicose” is a synonym of “belligerent,” emphasizing a predisposition towards conflict or aggression. The noun form “belligerence” denotes the state or quality of being belligerent, while “belligerently” serves as an adverb form, describing actions or behaviors that are marked by aggression or hostility.

The word “belligerent” serves as a reminder of the complexity and sometimes volatile nature of human interactions. It emphasizes the importance of diplomacy, conflict resolution, and understanding in order to prevent or mitigate hostility and promote peace.

In conclusion, “belligerent” has a historical connection to warfare and conflict. Its usage encompasses both military and broader contexts, describing aggressive or combative attitudes and behaviors. Understanding the root and variations of the word provides insight into its origins and helps shed light on its current usage in discussions surrounding conflict, aggression, and contentious interactions.