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

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 formspug·na·cious·ly, adverbpug·nac·i·ty [puhg-nas-i-tee] /pʌgˈnæs ɪ ti/, pug·na·cious·ness, nounun·pug·na·cious, adjectiveun·pug·na·cious·ly, adverbun·pug·na·cious·ness, noun

Synonyms for pugnacious

Antonyms for pugnacious

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

Examples from the Web for pugnaciousness

Historical Examples of pugnaciousness

  • If they fought back, the pugnaciousness was knocked out of them at once.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey

  • One evening the latter thought fit to twit him with his pugnaciousness.

    An Englishman in Paris

    Albert D. (Albert Dresden) Vandam

  • When they began feeding upon the tiny forms of life found in the creek, the Bully soon gained a reputation for pugnaciousness.

    Days in the Open

    Lathan A. Crandall

British Dictionary definitions for pugnaciousness



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 pugnaciousness



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