Adjective "pugnacious" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Eager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight.
  1. 'Bass being pugnacious and aggressive creatures by nature, the take is often a very violent affair.'
  2. 'His life was one of varied and significant achievements - an advocate at the Scottish bar, a sound if impatient and pugnacious judge of the Court of Session, and a politically active Whig.'
  3. 'A pugnacious, charismatic figure, the potentially dicey situation he is facing at Rangers is small beer in comparison to the personal trauma he has overcome through sheer force of will.'
  4. 'What a way to go for the most pugnacious, aggressive Liberal minister I've seen in action.'
  5. 'A pugnacious manager opens the door and leads us to a living room filled with people - Palmer's son and daughter, his wife, and the man himself, looking dapper in brown leather shoes and a blue Savile Row shirt.'
  6. 'The milquetoast types of New Labour never come off well when they try to act like self-styled pugnacious political heavyweights.'
  7. 'There's nothing - absolutely nothing - that the pugnacious little Dubliner likes better than standing centre stage, dodging the brickbats.'
  8. 'He had a walking stick and his whole manner was so pugnacious and focused.'
  9. 'He was an outspoken advocate of law reform, a pugnacious critic of established political doctrines like natural law and contractarianism, and the first to produce a utilitarian justification for democracy.'
  10. 'A catfight breaks out between restless, wilful Miss Braund and her pugnacious chaperone, Mrs Hammond, ending with a slap from the hostess, the hatchet-faced Mrs Rogers.'


1. inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be pugnacious about things."

"people can be pugnacious."

"leaders can be pugnacious."

"ways can be pugnacious."

"terriers can be pugnacious."

More examples++


Mid 17th century: from Latin pugnax, pugnac- (from pugnare ‘to fight’, from pugnus ‘fist’) + -ious.