- Naturally aggressive or hostile; combative; belligerent; bellicose.
- 1858, Anthony Trollope, chapter 3, in Dr Thorne:
- Not that the doctor was a bully, or even pugnacious, in the usual sense of the word; he had no disposition to provoke a fight, no propense love of quarrelling.
- 1904, Jack London, chapter 15, in The Sea Wolf:
- As he made the demand he spat out a mouthful of blood and teeth and shoved his pugnacious face close to Oofty-Oofty.
- 2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport):
- See also Thesaurus:combative