adjective Etymology: modification of Latin belligerant-, belligerans, present participle of belligerare to wage war, from belliger waging war, from bellum + gerere to wage Date: 1577 1. waging war; specifically belonging to or recognized as a state at war and protected by and subject to the laws of war 2. inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativenessbelligerent nounbelligerently adverb Synonyms: belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, quarrelsome, contentious mean having an aggressive or fighting attitude. belligerent often implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities <
belligerent nations
. bellicose suggests a disposition to fight <
a drunk in a bellicose mood
. pugnacious suggests a disposition that takes pleasure in personal combat <
a pugnacious gangster
. quarrelsome stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause <
the heat made us all quarrelsome
. contentious implies perverse and irritating fondness for arguing and quarreling <
wearied by his contentious disposition

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • belligerent — bel·lig·er·ent 1 /bə li jə rənt/ adj 1: waging war: carrying on war; specif: belonging to or recognized as an organized military power protected by and subject to the laws of war 2: inclined to or exhibiting hostility or a combative temperament… …   Law dictionary

  • belligerent — adj Belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, combative, quarrelsome, contentious mean having or taking an aggressive or fighting attitude. Belligerent usually implies actual engagement in hostilities {the belligerent powers in the World War} {define a …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • belligerent — [bə lij′ər ənt] adj. [L belligerans, prp. of belligerare, to wage war < bellum, war (see BELLICOSE) + gerere, to carry on] 1. at war; designating or of a state recognized under international law as being engaged in a war 2. of war; of fighting …   English World dictionary

  • Belligerent — Bel*lig er*ent, a. [L. bellum war + gerens, entis, waging, p. pr. of gerere to wage: cf. F. bellig[ e]rant. See {Bellicose}, {Jest}.] 1. Waging war; carrying on war. Belligerent powers. E. Everett. [1913 Webster] 2. Pertaining, or tending, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Belligerent — Bel*lig er*ent, n. A nation or state recognized as carrying on war; a person engaged in warfare. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • belligerent — (adj.) 1570s, from L. belligerantem (nom. belligerans), pp. of belligerare to wage war, from bellum war + gerere to bear, to carry. The noun meaning party or nation at war is from 1811. Related: Belligerently …   Etymology dictionary

  • belligerent — [adj] nasty, argumentative aggressive, antagonistic, ardent, at loggerheads*, battling, bellicose, cantankerous, combative, contentious, fierce, fighting, flip, have a bone to pick*, have chip on shoulder*, have it in for*, hostile, hot, hot… …   New thesaurus

  • belligerent — ► ADJECTIVE 1) hostile and aggressive. 2) engaged in a war or conflict. ► NOUN ▪ a nation or person engaged in war or conflict. DERIVATIVES belligerently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin belligerare wage war …   English terms dictionary

  • Belligerent — A belligerent is an individual, group, country or other entity which acts in a hostile manner, such as engaging in combat.In times of war, belligerent countries can be contrasted with neutral countries and non belligerents. However, the… …   Wikipedia

  • belligerent — belligerently, adv. /beuh lij euhr euhnt/, adj. 1. warlike; given to waging war. 2. of warlike character; aggressively hostile; bellicose: a belligerent tone. 3. waging war; engaged in war: a peace treaty between belligerent powers. 4. pertaining …   Universalium

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