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[uh-gres-iv] /əˈgrɛs ɪv/
characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or the like; militantly forward or menacing:
aggressive acts against a neighboring country.
making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive:
an aggressive basketball player.
vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness:
an aggressive salesperson.
boldly assertive and forward; pushy:
an aggressive driver.
emphasizing maximum growth and capital gains over quality, security, and income:
an aggressive mutual fund.
  1. (of a disease or tumor) spreading rapidly or highly invasive; difficult or impossible to treat successfully.
  2. pertaining to a risky surgery or treatment, or to a medication that has grave side effects:
    aggressive chemotherapy.
Origin of aggressive
1815-25; aggress(ion) + -ive
Related forms
aggressively, adverb
aggressiveness, aggressivity
[ag-re-siv-i-tee] /ˌæg rɛˈsɪv ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
antiaggressive, adjective
antiaggressively, adverb
antiaggressiveness, noun
hyperaggressive, adjective
hyperaggressively, adverb
hyperaggressiveness, noun
overaggressive, adjective
overaggressively, adverb
overaggressiveness, noun
preaggressive, adjective
preaggressively, adverb
preaggressiveness, noun
pseudoaggressive, adjective
pseudoaggressively, adverb
superaggressive, adjective
unaggressive, adjective
unaggressively, adverb
unaggressiveness, noun
Can be confused
aggressive, passive.
1. pugnacious, militant. 2. forceful, enterprising, assertive.
1. friendly. 2. retiring, shy, timid, hesitant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aggressively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They sang two verses with round mouths, Jerry and Stanley shouting against each other aggressively and wagging their heads.

    Boy Woodburn Alfred Ollivant
  • He was a graduate of the University of Chicago, and aggressively proud of it.

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • There was no injunction for fighting absolutely or aggressively in the Koran.

  • "I don't see any easier way to get half a million," he said aggressively.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • For the rest he was a cheerful, likable fellow, aggressively honest and painfully conscientious.

    On Your Mark! Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for aggressively


quarrelsome or belligerent: an aggressive remark
assertive; vigorous: an aggressive business executive
Derived Forms
aggressively, adverb
aggressiveness, noun
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 aggressively



1791, from Latin aggress-, past participle stem of aggredi (see aggression) + -ive. In psychological use from 1913, first in translations of Freud. Related: Aggressively; aggressiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aggressively in Medicine

aggressive ag·gres·sive (ə-grěs'ĭv)

  1. Inclined to behave in a hostile fashion.

  2. Tending to spread quickly, as a tumor; fast-growing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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