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[buh-lij-er-uh ns] /bəˈlɪdʒ ər əns/
a warlike or aggressively hostile nature, condition, or attitude.
an act of carrying on war; warfare.
Origin of belligerence
First recorded in 1805-15; belliger(ent) + -ence
Can be confused
belligerence, belligerents. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for belligerence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Don't be so sure of that," Al retorted, with a flash of belligerence.

  • He was red with belligerence; Aunt Caroline had the composure of placid adamant.

    Good References E. J. Rath
  • belligerence, mere combativeness, is a masculine attribute; but courage is not.

    The home Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Ted lost his belligerence; the warden was his father's friend.

    Double Challenge James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • There was a mixture of belligerence and distress in their actions.

    Deadly City Paul W. Fairman
  • Mr. Spokesly went upon the bridge charged with belligerence.

    Command William McFee
  • He gazed hard at Norton, with suspicion and belligerence in his glance.

    The Ranchman Charles Alden Seltzer
  • She was gazing at the intruder with belligerence, not hauteur.

British Dictionary definitions for belligerence


the act or quality of being belligerent or warlike; aggressiveness
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 belligerence

1814; see belligerent + -ence. Related: belligerency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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