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[uh-gresh-uh n] /əˈgrɛʃ ən/
the action of a state in violating by force the rights of another state, particularly its territorial rights; an unprovoked offensive, attack, invasion, or the like:
The army is prepared to stop any foreign aggression.
any offensive action, attack, or procedure; an inroad or encroachment:
an aggression upon one's rights.
the practice of making assaults or attacks; offensive action in general.
Psychiatry. overt or suppressed hostility, either innate or resulting from continued frustration and directed outward or against oneself.
1605-15; < Latin aggressiōn- (stem of aggressiō), equivalent to aggress(us) (see aggress) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
antiaggression, adjective
counteraggression, noun
preaggression, noun
Can be confused
aggression, egression.
1. peacefulness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aggression
  • The only way to stop that behavior is to get their attention at the same intensity as their aggression.
  • The drug elevates aggression levels and psychotic behavior, often generating fierce outbursts.
  • Quite simply, they are getting off on the behavior of aggression.
  • Relational aggression is finding its chroniclers among more popular writers, too.
  • The groups were tested for antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, and aggression.
  • The researchers found that workplace aggression had severe consequences on employee well-being.
  • And though fear can be covered in aggression as it was last night, it can't be overlooked.
  • Small countries don't have anything that can counter this aggression.
  • Quieting the aggression center also stopped mice from acting on violent urges.
  • In many other cases, however, there are options other than aggression in word or deed.
British Dictionary definitions for aggression


an attack or harmful action, esp an unprovoked attack by one country against another
any offensive activity, practice, etc: an aggression against personal liberty
(psychol) a hostile or destructive mental attitude or behaviour
Derived Forms
aggressor (əˈɡrɛsə) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin aggression-, from aggrēdi to attack
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
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Word Origin and History for aggression

1610s, "unprovoked attack," from French aggression (16c.), from Latin aggressionem (nominative aggressio) "a going to, an attack," noun of action from past participle stem of aggredi "to approach; attack," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + gradi (past participle gressus) "to step," from gradus "a step" (see grade). Psychological sense of "hostile or destructive behavior" first recorded 1912 in A.A. Brill's translation of Freud.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aggression in Medicine

aggression ag·gres·sion (ə-grěsh'ən)
Hostile or destructive behavior or actions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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aggression in Science
Behavior that is meant to intimidate or injure an animal of the same species or of a competing species but is not predatory. Aggression may be displayed during mating rituals or to defend territory, as by the erection of fins by fish and feathers by birds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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