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See more synonyms for bellicose on Thesaurus.com
  1. inclined or eager to fight; aggressively hostile; belligerent; pugnacious.
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Origin of bellicose

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin bellicōsus, equivalent to bellic(us) pertaining to war (bell(um) war + -icus -ic) + -ōsus -ose1
Related formsbel·li·cose·ly, adverbbel·li·cos·i·ty [bel-i-kos-i-tee] /ˌbɛl ɪˈkɒs ɪ ti/, bel·li·cose·ness, nounun·bel·li·cose, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged 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 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


  1. warlike; aggressive; ready to fight
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Derived Formsbellicosely, adverbbellicosity (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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper