[ puhg-ney-shuhs ]
/ pʌgˈneɪ ʃəs /


inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.

Nearby words

  1. pugilist,
  2. pugin,
  3. pugin, augustus charles,
  4. puglia,
  5. pugmark,
  6. pugnaciously,
  7. pugnacity,
  8. pugree,
  9. pugwash conferences,
  10. puh-leeze

Origin of pugnacious

1635–45; pugnaci(ty) (< Latin pugnācitās combativeness, equivalent to pugnāci-, stem of pugnāx combative (akin to pugil; see pugilism) + -tās -ty2) + -ous

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pugnacious

British Dictionary definitions for pugnacious


/ (pʌɡˈneɪʃəs) /


readily disposed to fight; belligerent
Derived Formspugnaciously, adverbpugnacity (pʌɡˈnæsɪtɪ) or pugnaciousness, noun

Word Origin for pugnacious

C17: from Latin pugnāx

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 pugnacious



1640s, a back-formation from pugnacity or else from Latin pugnacis, genitive of pugnax "combative, fond of fighting," from pugnare "to fight," especially with the fists, "contend against," from pugnus "a fist," from PIE *pung-, nasalized form of root *peuk-, *peug- "to stick, stab, to prick" (cf. Greek pyx "with clenched fist," pygme "fist, boxing," pyktes "boxer;" Latin pungere "to pierce, prick").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper