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[bel-i-kohs] /ˈbɛl ɪˌkoʊs/
inclined or eager to fight; aggressively hostile; belligerent; pugnacious.
Origin of bellicose
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin bellicōsus, equivalent to bellic(us) pertaining to war (bell(um) war + -icus -ic) + -ōsus -ose1
Related forms
bellicosely, adverb
[bel-i-kos-i-tee] /ˌbɛl ɪˈkɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
bellicoseness, noun
unbellicose, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bellicose
  • His words, characteristically, had been strident and bellicose.
  • The current dispute has excited bellicose passions.
  • Both countries have stepped up their bellicose rhetoric.
  • She looks so traditionally feminine that her foul mouth and bellicose nature are amusing surprises.
  • Throughout our talk I could not escape the impression that at least some of his more bellicose threats were mere acting.
  • The old gentleman was in a bellicose mood as he reminisced.
  • Of course such bellicose comments will be noted by other states elsewhere around the world.
  • Without those restraining institutions firmly in place, empowering the public can mean empowering bellicose nationalists.
  • Yeah, elect an even more bellicose Southern president and then let's see what .
  • The North's bellicose behavior, analysts say, reflects a deepening power struggle inside the country.
British Dictionary definitions for bellicose


/ˈbɛlɪˌkəʊs; -ˌkəʊz/
warlike; aggressive; ready to fight
Derived Forms
bellicosely, adverb
bellicosity (ˌbɛlɪˈkɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin bellicōsus, from bellum war
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 bellicose

early 15c., from Latin bellicosus "warlike, valorous, given to fighting," from bellicus "of war," from bellum "war," Old Latin duellum, dvellum, of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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