A Word You Don’t Hear Often: Bellicose

If there’s ever a word you wouldn’t associate with its meaning, it’s the adjective “bellicose,” which sounds an awful lot like “Bela Lugosi” (Am I right?).

:  favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars

: having or showing a tendency to argue or fight

Sure, there’s “belligerent,” but there’s also “belle” and the Italian bella. Apparently, those words derive from a different root, because “bellicose” comes from the Latin word for war, bellum.

How is “bellicose” used in everyday internet parlance? Let’s take a look.

From The New York Times:

“But Mr. Rafsanjani, himself an ayatollah, clashed with Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader, over the extent to which Iran should modify its bellicose stance toward outsiders.”

From the Daily Mail:

“The mission is meant to help allay concerns from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and other NATO allies over an increasingly unpredictable and bellicose Russia.”

And last, an editorial from the Financial Times:

“A third set of risks is geopolitical. Last year I referred to the possibility of Brexit and ‘election of a bellicose ignoramus’ to the US presidency.”

Sadly, in today’s world, I don’t think you’ll have trouble finding use for this little gem. Have a sentence you’d like to try out? Post it in the comments.




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