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pugnacious
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pugnacious


The pugnacious Congressman was in no mood to compromise.
  combative in tone (as though ready to fight)
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pugnacious pugnacity pugnaciously pugnaciousness
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Samples:
  • The pugnacious Congressman was in no mood to compromise.
  • Nicknamed, "The Pit Bull", he is known as a pugnacious supporter of workers’ rights.
  • 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
  • His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious.
    John Steinbeck  --  Of Mice and Men

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  • So pugnacious, you uglies.
    Scott Westerfeld  --  Uglies
  • The latter was a small, alert, dark-eyed man about thirty years of age, very sturdily built, with thick black eyebrows and a strong, pugnacious face.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • His prosperous-looking belly that used to thrust out so pugnaciously and intimidate folks, sagged like a load suspended from his loins.
    Zora Neale Hurston  --  Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • They moved their heads pugnaciously and kept their shoulders braced.
    Stephen Crane  --  Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
  • In the light from the dashboard, I see his jaw stiffen, a momentarily pugnacious look.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • I catch only glimpses of him as the forest of grownups sway and shift in front of me, but I can make out the well-oiled, slicked-down, coal-black hair, and the pugnacious face, the wrinkled and baggy suit, the kind the men at the courthouse have on when you go beg the judge to let your daddy out of jail.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’

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  • Pete, a tiger-striped tom weighing fifteen pounds, is a well-known character around Garden City, famous for his pugnacity, which was the cause of his current hospitalization; a battle lost to a boxer dog had left him with wounds necessitating both stitches and antibiotics.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
  • One place, however, I vividly recall—a grassy peninsula, usually unpeopled at that hour on weekdays, jutting out into the lake where a sextet of large, rather pugnacious-looking swans coasted like gangsters through the reeds, interrupting their swim long enough to waddle up onto the grass and scrounge competitively, with aggressive hiss-lags from their voiceless throats, for the crusts of our poppyseed rolls or other leftovers.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • ’I arst you civil enough, didn’t I?’ said the old man, straightening his shoulders pugnaciously.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • He put his hand in his pocket, failed to find what he wanted, and rushing past me went blundering noisily and pugnaciously downstairs.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • His pugnacious tone indicated that they were not about to laugh at Xenophilius, despite the clear provocation.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • ’How should I know?’ answered Chief White Halfoat, staggering inside the tent just then with a bottle of whiskey cradled in his arm and sitting himself down pugnaciously between the two of them.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • A short, stout, ruddy young fellow, very pugnacious concerning whales, who somehow seemed to think that the great leviathans had personally and hereditarily affronted him; and therefore it was a sort of point of honour with him, to destroy them whenever encountered.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • You have a restless, pugnacious, rebellious disposition.
    Henrik Ibsen  --  An Enemy of the People
  • There was a better hand across the table, held by a pugnacious Irish youth, who was a political hanger-on of the Tammany district in which they were located.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  Sister Carrie
  • "An evil day to receive a beautiful woman," The Admiral said, his voice surprisingly mild and mannered to issue from such a pugnacious face.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • Smith, a man at once pugnacious, profane, and professorial, proposed that the business of mounting continental land offensives was the historic province of the Army, and should remain so.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • He told Hamidullah to cheer up, all would end well; and Ham idullah did cheer up, and became pugnacious and sensible.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • At all events, of these thousands of mutineers were some of the tars who not so very long afterwards—whether wholly prompted thereto by patriotism, or pugnacious instinct, or by both,—helped to win a coronet for Nelson at the Nile, and the naval crown of crowns for him at Trafalgar.
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • In Hope the effect is apparent only in a bristling, touchy, pugnacious attitude.
    Eugene O’Neill  --  The Iceman Cometh
  • He drove fast, pugnaciously, darting into empty spaces, nudging other cars out of their lanes.
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • These animals without courage, these fear-haunted, pain-driven things, without a spark of pugnacious energy to face torment,—they are no good for man-making.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • …as a backtothelander, which was one reason he strongly resented the innuendo put upon him in so barefaced a fashion by our friend at the gathering of the clans in Barney Kiernan’s so that he, though often considerably misunderstood and the least pugnacious of mortals, be it repeated, departed from his customary habit to give him (metaphorically) one in the gizzard though, so far as politics themselves were concerned, he was only too conscious of the casualties invariably resulting from…
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Thus Mr Snevellicci had no sooner swallowed another glassful than he smiled upon all present in happy forgetfulness of having exhibited symptoms of pugnacity, and proposed ’The ladies!
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • I rise; "Fight," I cry, "fight!" remembering the shape of my own nose, and strike with this spoon upon this table pugnaciously.’
    Virginia Woolf  --  The Waves
  • She was a big, pugnacious woman with a wicked sense of humor and a voice like a rusty car muffler.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • At the sight of David backing away, Yussie doubled his fists and screwed up his face pugnaciously.
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • [secretly daunted, but rising from his knees with an air of reckless pugnacity] I ain’t afraid of you.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • As he made the demand he spat out a mouthful of blood and teeth and shoved his pugnacious face close to Oofty-Oofty.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • They were of various sizes and ages, but they were all stamped with the print of haggling determination and a pugnacious closure of the mouth.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • For a second Jamie reacts pugnaciously and half rises from his chair to do battle, but suddenly he seems to sober up to a shocked realization of what he has said and he sinks back limply.
    Eugene O’Neill  --  Long Day’s Journey into Night
  • Adams-a small, Pugnacious Texan who’d gotten rich selling bonds during the boomIng 1980s-is an experienced airplane pilot who’d spent many hours gazing down on the tops of clouds; later he told me that he recognized these innocent-looking puffs of water vapor to be the crowns of robust thunderheads immediately after reaching the top.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • "Gore’s no fool; you needn’t tell me that," he observed presently, in a pugnacious tone, as if poor Gritty had been urging that lawyer’s capabilities; "but, you see, he isn’t up to the law as Wakem is.
    George Eliot  --  The Mill on the Floss
  • Their state of mind, vacillating, uncertain, alternately timorous and [Pg064] pugnacious, has been well described by Henry Cabot Lodge in his essay on "Colonialism in America.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • The men noticed her firm buttocks like she had grapefruits in her hip pockets; the great rope of black hair swinging to her waist and unraveling in the wind like a plume; then her pugnacious breasts trying to bore holes in her shirt.
    Zora Neale Hurston  --  Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • His face was courteously pugnacious, fierce, with large yellow bulging eyeballs, and several bulldog pleatings around the mouth.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • She would wag her powerful head from side to side, pugnaciously emphatic.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • ’I can get killed flying them, too,’ Dobbs answered pugnaciously in his rough, quavering, overwrought voice.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • The pugnacious Colonel Johnson, wearing his trademark soft cap with the visor flipped up, called for two four-man patrols to reconnoiter routes up the northern face of Suribachi.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • He was a powerfully-built man, as I have said, with a fine forehead and rather heavy features; but his eyes had that odd drooping of the skin above the lids which often comes with advancing years, and the fall of his heavy mouth at the corners gave him an expression of pugnacious resolution.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Very much indeed of what we call moral education, he said, is such an artificial modification and perversion of instinct; pugnacity is trained into courageous self-sacrifice, and suppressed sexuality into religious emotion.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Sometimes he squired her clumsily through the town, to the movies, and later, with the uneasy pugnacity of youth, past the loafing cluster at Wood’s.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • He turned with surprise to face a stout, pugnacious colonel with a large head and mustache and a smooth, florid skin.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • It is ended by my own pugnacity.
    Virginia Woolf  --  The Waves
  • Fortunately, however, Mr Pyke confined himself to mere verbal smifligation, and they reached their box with no more serious interruption by the way, than a desire on the part of the same pugnacious gentleman to ’smash’ the assistant box-keeper for happening to mistake the number.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • "What do you mean you look funny?" said Ben pugnaciously.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
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Associated words [difficulty]:   pugnacious [6]
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