Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Pugnacious

Pugnacious [puhg-ney-shuhs]
Eager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight; having a quarrelsome or combative nature


Schuyler was prolific, pugnacious and very much in the public eye; Larsen was recessive, and vanished from literary life after publishing two novels and a few stories. (Parul Sehgal, Two Classic American Novels About the Madness and Beauty of RaceThe New York Times, Jan 2018)

Cardinals and robins are particularly pugnacious when it comes to window fighting, but there are many other species (both male and female) that indulge in this behavior. (Stacey Cole, Stacey Cole Nature Talks: Pugnacious cardinals battle own reflectionsThe New Hampshire Union Leader, 2020)

As a man Jonson, pugnacious, capricious, ill-mannered, sometimes surly, intemperate in drink and in other respects, is an object for only very qualified admiration; and as a writer he cannot properly be said to possess that indefinable thing, genius, which is essential to the truest greatness. (Robert Huntington Fletcher, A History of English Literature )

For Glaucon, who is always the most pugnacious of men, was dissatisfied at Thrasymachus' retirement; he wanted to have the battle out. (Plato, The Republic)


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

1640s, a back-formation from pugnacity or else from Latin pugnacis, genitive of pugnax 'combative, fond of fighting,' from pugnare 'to fight,' especially with the fists, 'contend against,' from pugnus 'a fist,' from PIE *pung-, nasalized form of root *peuk- 'to prick.' (Online Etymological Dictionary)

Tags: adjective, latin, p, wordsmith: sallymn

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