View synonyms for aggressive


[ uh-gres-iv ]


  1. characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or the like; militantly forward or menacing:

    aggressive acts against a neighboring country.

    Synonyms: militant, pugnacious

    Antonyms: friendly

  2. making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive:

    an aggressive basketball player.

    Synonyms: assertive, enterprising, forceful

    Antonyms: hesitant, timid, shy, retiring

  3. vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness:

    an aggressive salesperson.

  4. boldly assertive and forward; pushy:

    an aggressive driver.

  5. emphasizing maximum growth and capital gains over quality, security, and income:

    an aggressive mutual fund.

  6. Medicine/Medical.
    1. (of a disease or tumor) growing or spreading rapidly; highly invasive; difficult or impossible to treat successfully:

      aggressive brain lesions.

    2. pertaining to a risky surgery or treatment, or to a medication that has grave side effects:

      aggressive chemotherapy.

  7. (of a plant) spreading more rapidly than is desirable; tending to spread where not wanted:

    The joe-pye weed may be too aggressive to contain in the small area you’ve designated.


/ əˈɡrɛsɪv /


  1. quarrelsome or belligerent

    an aggressive remark

  2. assertive; vigorous

    an aggressive business executive

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Derived Forms

  • agˈgressiveness, noun
  • agˈgressively, adverb

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Other Words From

  • ag·gressive·ly adverb
  • ag·gressive·ness ag·gres·siv·i·ty [ag-re-, siv, -i-tee], noun
  • anti·ag·gressive adjective
  • hyper·ag·gressive adjective
  • over·ag·gressive adjective
  • over·ag·gressive·ness noun
  • super·ag·gressive adjective
  • unag·gressive adjective
  • unag·gressive·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of aggressive1

First recorded in 1690–1700; from Late Latin aggressīvus, derivative of Latin aggressus, past participle of aggredī “to go to, approach, attack”

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Example Sentences

She also expressed regret for not being more aggressive internally to help right the ship on the response.

He’s a conservative “tough on crime” Republican who supports aggressive prosecutorial tactics.

From Vox

Under an aggressive pro-Democratic gerrymander, they likely secure just nine safe seats.

From Vox

She can be incredibly sexually aggressive, or she can be very frightened when someone just touches her hand.

One officer who had assaulted her briefly disappeared from her area of the detention center only to later return, becoming “increasingly aggressive and intimidating.”

They were just way too aggressive to try and maintain on a farm here,” says Gow of his “Nazi cows.

And it is not clear that there have been a rash of lawsuits from outraged parents over aggressive Christmastime greetings.

Kim Jong Un is changing role models, steering Pyongyang away from Chinese autocrats toward the ultra-aggressive Vladimir Putin.

In a rather passive aggressive letter, the House Minority Leader wrote.

Question those taking on the mantle of victimhood and you are immediately cast as some kind of aggressive, unfeeling oppressor.

She alighted, and her aggressive servants drew away somewhat.

And here M. Barbiche suddenly threw himself into the attitude of an enraged and aggressive monkey.

His chin, thrust slightly forward in a manner almost aggressive, showed the dusk of close-shaven hair.

The goods manager was not aggressive, and it was sometimes thought that Mathieson inclined to encroach upon his territory.

The insurgent chief advocated an aggressive war, and in the same month it was decided to send more American troops to Manila.