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[bel-i-kohs] /ˈbɛl ɪˌkoʊs/
inclined or eager to fight; aggressively hostile; belligerent; pugnacious.
Origin of bellicose
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin bellicōsus, equivalent to bellic(us) pertaining to war (bell(um) war + -icus -ic) + -ōsus -ose1
Related forms
bellicosely, adverb
[bel-i-kos-i-tee] /ˌbɛl ɪˈkɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
bellicoseness, noun
unbellicose, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bellicose
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am the least bellicose of men, I believe I can say I may afford to be so.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • The disappointment was felt keenly even by the bellicose cook.

    Up the Forked River

    Edward Sylvester Ellis
  • Pountner and Holdenough were to some extent ashamed of their bellicose Dean.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
  • Yet how if those young men are not bellicose like their wise seniors?

    Waiting for Daylight Henry Major Tomlinson
  • The family Spratt-head was rather a fat-head,And a bellicose body to boot.

British Dictionary definitions for bellicose


/ˈbɛlɪˌkəʊs; -ˌkəʊz/
warlike; aggressive; ready to fight
Derived Forms
bellicosely, adverb
bellicosity (ˌbɛlɪˈkɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin bellicōsus, from bellum war
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bellicose

early 15c., from Latin bellicosus "warlike, valorous, given to fighting," from bellicus "of war," from bellum "war," Old Latin duellum, dvellum, of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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