First attested circa 1540, from Middle French, from Latin truculentus (fierce, savage), from trux (fierce, wild).


  • enPR: \trŭk'-yə-lənt\, IPA(key): /ˈtɹʌkjʊlənt/
  • (file)


truculent (comparative more truculent, superlative most truculent)

  1. Cruel or savage.
    The truculent soldiers gave us a steely-eyed stare.
  2. Deadly or destructive.
  3. Defiant or uncompromising.
  4. Eager or quick to argue, fight or start a conflict.
    • 1992, Joel Feinberg, “The Social Importance of Moral Rights” in Philosophical Perspectives VI (Ethics, 1992), page 195:
      It is an important source of the value of moral rights then that — speaking very generally — they dispose people with opposed interests to be reasonable rather than arrogant and truculent.
    • 2010, Seal Team 6 Member, in Esquire Magazine "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden..."[1]
      (Refering to women in Bin Laden’s compound) “These bitches is getting truculent.”


  • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, ch VI,
    In her turn, Helen Burns asked me to explain, and I proceeded forthwith to pour out, in my own way, the tale of my sufferings and resentments. Bitter and truculent when excited, I spoke as I felt, without reserve or softening.
  • 1860–1861, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, ch XLVI,
    She really was a most charming girl, and might have passed for a captive fairy, whom that truculent Ogre, Old Barley, had pressed into his service.
  • 1877, Leo Tolstoy (author), David Magarshack (translator), Anna Karenina, part 6, ch 12,
    She might pity herself, but he must not pity her. She did not want any quarrel; she blamed him for wanting one, but she could not help assuming a truculent attitude.
  • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance, ch 10,
    Most of them were little dramatic situations, crucial dialogues, the return of Mr. Hoopdriver to his native village, for instance, in a well-cut holiday suit and natty gloves, the unheard asides of the rival neighbours, the delight of the old ‘mater’, the intelligence—“A ten-pound rise all at once from Antrobus, mater. Whad d’yer think of that?” or again, the first whispering of love, dainty and witty and tender, to the girl he served a few days ago with sateen, or a gallant rescue of generalised beauty in distress from truculent insult or ravening dog.
  • 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Beasts of Tarzan, ch 10,
    If he came too close to a she with a young baby, the former would bare her great fighting fangs and growl ominously, and occasionally a truculent young bull would snarl a warning if Tarzan approached while the former was eating.
  • 1922, Rafael Sabatini, Captain Blood: His Odyssy, ch XVI,
    Cahusac appeared to be having it all his own way, and he raised his harsh, querulous voice so that all might hear his truculent denunciation.
  • 1925, Richard Henry Tawney, “Introduction”, to Thomas Wilson A discourse upon usury by way of dialogue and orations: for the better variety and more delight of all those that shall read this treatise (1572); Classics of social and political science Page 2
    Whatever his prejudices—and his book shows that they were tough—the most truculent of self-made capitalists could not have criticised him as a child in matters of finance. He had tried commercial cases, negotiated commercial treaties, …


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From Latin truculentus (fierce, savage), from trux (fierce, wild).



truculent (feminine singular truculente, masculine plural truculents, feminine plural truculentes)

  1. violent or belligerent in a colorful, over-the-top or memorable fashion
  2. picturesque, colourful



  1. third-person plural present indicative of truculer
  2. third-person plural present subjunctive of truculer

Further readingEdit



From French truculent, from Latin truculentus.


truculent m or n (feminine singular truculentă, masculine plural truculenți, feminine and neuter plural truculente)

  1. truculent