of warlike character; aggressively hostile; bellicose: a belligerent tone.
waging war; engaged in war: a peace treaty between belligerent powers.
pertaining to war or to those engaged in war: belligerent rights.
a state or nation at war.
a member of the military forces of such a state.
Origin of belligerent
1570–80; < Latinbelliger waging war (belli-, combining form of bellum war + ger-, base of gerere to conduct) + -ent; replacing belligerant < Latinbelligerant- (stem of belligerāns, present participle of belligerāre to wage war; see -ant)
Related formsbel·lig·er·ent·ly, adverbin·ter·bel·lig·er·ent, adjectiveun·bel·lig·er·ent, adjectiveun·bel·lig·er·ent·ly, adverbCan be confusedbelligerencebelligerents
1570s, from Latin belligerantem (nominative belligerans), past participle of belligerare "to wage war," from bellum "war" (see bellicose) + gerere "to bear, to carry" (see gest). The noun meaning "party or nation at war" is from 1811. Related: Belligerently.