[buh-lij-er-uh ns]


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 confusedbelligerence belligerents Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for belligerence

Contemporary Examples of belligerence

  • Grayson himself sees little political downside to his belligerence.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Democrats' Joe Wilson?

    Benjamin Sarlin

    October 1, 2009

  • As a Marine, I learned that peace is predicated on compromise, not superior firepower or belligerence.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Mission Accomplished?

    Zachary Iscol

    June 29, 2009

Historical Examples of belligerence

  • "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

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

Word Origin and History for belligerence

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper