9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[buh-lij-er-uh nt] /bəˈlɪdʒ ər ənt/
warlike; given to waging war.
of warlike character; aggressively hostile; bellicose:
a belligerent tone.
waging war; engaged in war:
a peace treaty between belligerent powers.
pertaining to war or to those engaged in war:
belligerent rights.
a state or nation at war.
a member of the military forces of such a state.
Origin of belligerent
1570-80; < Latin belliger waging war (belli-, combining form of bellum war + ger-, base of gerere to conduct) + -ent; replacing belligerant < Latin belligerant- (stem of belligerāns, present participle of belligerāre to wage war; see -ant)
Related forms
belligerently, adverb
interbelligerent, adjective
unbelligerent, adjective
unbelligerently, adverb
Can be confused
belligerence, belligerents.
2. pugnacious, truculent, combative, quarrelsome, antagonistic, contentious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for belligerent
  • Parker's scenes are dialogue driven, as he specialized in repartee that ranges from belligerent to salacious.
  • They do not recognize us as a nation, but they do as a belligerent.
  • His best friend is convinced of his innocence, but his belligerent father is less sure.
  • When she made the flight crew aware of the problem, they were rude and told her to sit down and stop being belligerent.
  • Now you're just getting belligerent because people don't agree with you.
  • If we can't find a way to reconnect Congress to the people we will wallow in self pity and become belligerent.
  • As if this were not enough to ruin mankind, we are watching the belligerent states engaging in hegemonic wars.
  • The boy had become withdrawn and was unusually belligerent.
  • That nuance and complexity was my all point, my belligerent friend.
  • America was and is still great because it stands for the freedom and strength of the individual over the belligerent masses.
British Dictionary definitions for belligerent


marked by readiness to fight or argue; aggressive: a belligerent tone
relating to or engaged in a legally recognized war or warfare
a person or country engaged in fighting or war
Word Origin
C16: from Latin belliger, from bellum war + gerere to wage
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 belligerent

1570s, from Latin belligerantem (nominative belligerans), past participle of belligerare "to wage war," from bellum "war" (see bellicose) + gerere "to bear, to carry" (see gest). The noun meaning "party or nation at war" is from 1811. Related: Belligerently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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