• synonyms


See more synonyms for aggressive on Thesaurus.com
  1. characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or the like; militantly forward or menacing: aggressive acts against a neighboring country.
  2. making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive: an aggressive basketball player.
  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) spreading rapidly or highly invasive; difficult or impossible to treat successfully.
    2. pertaining to a risky surgery or treatment, or to a medication that has grave side effects: aggressive chemotherapy.
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Origin of aggressive

First recorded in 1815–25; aggress(ion) + -ive
Related formsag·gres·sive·ly, adverbag·gres·sive·ness, ag·gres·siv·i·ty [ag-re-siv-i-tee] /ˌæg rɛˈsɪv ɪ ti/, nounan·ti·ag·gres·sive, adjectivean·ti·ag·gres·sive·ly, adverban·ti·ag·gres·sive·ness, nounhy·per·ag·gres·sive, adjectivehy·per·ag·gres·sive·ly, adverbhy·per·ag·gres·sive·ness, nouno·ver·ag·gres·sive, adjectiveo·ver·ag·gres·sive·ly, adverbo·ver·ag·gres·sive·ness, nounpre·ag·gres·sive, adjectivepre·ag·gres·sive·ly, adverbpre·ag·gres·sive·ness, nounpseu·do·ag·gres·sive, adjectivepseu·do·ag·gres·sive·ly, adverbsu·per·ag·gres·sive, adjectiveun·ag·gres·sive, adjectiveun·ag·gres·sive·ly, adverbun·ag·gres·sive·ness, noun
Can be confusedaggressive passive


See more synonyms for aggressive on Thesaurus.com
1. pugnacious, militant. 2. forceful, enterprising, assertive.


1. friendly. 2. retiring, shy, timid, hesitant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aggressiveness

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • May it teach them some lessons of restraint as well as of aggressiveness!

  • These wars in the South were incited by the insolence and aggressiveness of the Americans.

    The Indian Today

    Charles A. Eastman

  • His boldness and aggressiveness were unique in the history of Indian warfare.

    The Indian Today

    Charles A. Eastman

  • Now her stinging tongue was dumb, and there was no aggressiveness in her manner.


    Caroline Lockhart

  • Madame's husband instantly showed a diminution of aggressiveness.

    Love at Paddington

    W. Pett Ridge

British Dictionary definitions for aggressiveness


  1. quarrelsome or belligerentan aggressive remark
  2. assertive; vigorousan aggressive business executive
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Derived Formsaggressively, adverbaggressiveness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for aggressiveness



1791, from Latin aggress-, past participle stem of aggredi (see aggression) + -ive. In psychological use from 1913, first in translations of Freud. Related: Aggressively; aggressiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aggressiveness in Medicine


  1. Characterized by aggression.
  2. Inclined to behave in a hostile fashion.
  3. Tending to spread quickly, as a tumor; fast-growing.
  4. Characterized by or inclined toward vigorous or intensive medical treatment.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.