Adjective "belligerent" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Hostile and aggressive.
  1. 'The rail companies are taking a belligerent attitude towards the disputes.'
  2. 'A belligerent stance was one's only deterrent against other people whose interests were in conflict with one's own.'
  3. 'In combination with the threatening and belligerent attitude of the princes, it did much to fuel the violent anti-émigré attitude of the Legislative Assembly during the autumn of 1791.'
  4. 'Such views naturally lead to an ‘aggressive, belligerent foreign policy’, she added.'
  5. 'The country's belligerent veto threats seemed to signal its willingness to force grievous splits in the Security Council.'
  6. 'He's a good footballer but he's not very aggressive, not very belligerent and I'd like to think that with 20-odd caps he'd be a bit more aggressive than he is.'
  7. 'Aggressive or belligerent behavior would have undermined the objectives of the expedition and could well have proved suicidal.'
  8. 'However, when there is a war, of which our people are much experienced, such a naïve attitude can only be disastrous when confronting a belligerent foe, and can only bring great misery to the defending side.'
  9. 'The company has taken a belligerent attitude towards the dispute, refusing to negotiate whilst staff remain on strike.'
  10. 'In arguments they are emotionally very aggressive - belligerent, contemptuous, insulting.'
  11. 'a conference of socialists from all belligerent countries'
  12. 'He also reminds readers that neutral status in wartime runs the risk of attracting contempt from belligerent states.'
  13. 'At first the committee had to work covertly as under the Neutrality Acts an American could lose his citizenship if he fought in the armed forces of a belligerent power.'
  14. 'Historically, when military forces occupied belligerent territory, little how-to guidance existed.'
  15. 'The IRA's response, the hunger strike campaign, equally proclaimed its determination to assert its belligerent status.'
  16. 'It is based upon the customary international laws of belligerent occupation, including the Hague Regulations.'
  17. 'It is widely recognized that access by belligerent groups to the gains from drug production and trafficking contributes to the intensity and prolongation of military conflict.'


A nation or person engaged in war or conflict, as recognized by international law.
  1. 'The customary laws of war, when adapted for conflict with unlawful belligerents, must always incorporate rules of humanitarian restraint.'
  2. 'But naval power can never, by itself, win wars except where either island states, or ones dependent on sea power for survival, are the belligerents, or the conflict itself is for control of an island.'
  3. 'Such ‘popular passions’ were at least as important as political or military calculations in the determination of the belligerents to press on with the war.'
  4. 'In cases involving criminal prosecution of unlawful belligerents, this could mean imposing peacetime rules on the collection of evidence.'
  5. 'Military leaders of the belligerents thought that dropping or landing of forces right on the target area was as a rule possible and even necessary when the target area was small.'
  6. 'The laws of the Hague (the laws of war) establish the rights and obligations incumbent on belligerents.'
  7. 'Similar technologies are being applied within the military to subdue belligerents.'
  8. 'It should also cancel any existing sales of military equipment to possible belligerents in the war, the organisation said in a statement.'
  9. 'The rules of warfare are established by international law with a view to regulating the conduct of belligerents in the course of international armed conflicts.'
  10. 'In effect, what the critics of military tribunals would have the President do is turn enemy belligerents over to civilian law enforcement authorities for prosecution.'


1. warlike; given to waging war.

2. of warlike character; aggressively hostile; bellicose: a belligerent tone.

3. waging war; engaged in war: a peace treaty between belligerent powers.

4. pertaining to war or to those engaged in war: belligerent rights. noun

5. a state or nation at war.

6. a member of the military forces of such a state.

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be belligerent."

"groups can be belligerent."

"attitudes can be belligerent."

"tones can be belligerent."

"moods can be belligerent."

More examples++


Late 16th century: from Latin belligerant- ‘waging war’, from the verb belligerare, from bellum ‘war’.