Definition of aggression in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈɡrɛʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1Feelings of anger or antipathy resulting in hostile or violent behaviour; readiness to attack or confront: his chin was jutting with aggression territorial aggression between individuals of the same species
More example sentences
  • Furthermore there is the issue of his aggression and hostile behaviour.
  • In contrast, we experience anger and aggression when the disappointment is perceived as being caused by an external source.
  • So many of us strive to raise our children with good moral values including an aversion to violence and aggression.
hostility, aggressiveness, belligerence, bellicosity, antagonism, truculence;
pugnacity, pugnaciousness, combativeness, militancy, warmongering, warlikeness, hawkishness, force, violence;
attack, assault, encroachment, offence, invasion, infringement
1.1The action of attacking without provocation: he called for an end to foreign aggression against his country [count noun]: the president has been emboldened by the success of his latest aggressions
More example sentences
  • Politicians and military planners argued aerial offense was the most effective against foreign aggression or invasion.
  • Intervention in domestic politics often cements dictators in place by uniting the people against what they see as foreign aggression.
  • The wall was built by the Qin dynasty to deter foreign aggression from the north.
1.2Forcefulness: the sheer volume and aggression of his playing
More example sentences
  • In Australia he had been overwhelmed by the moment and by the sheer aggression of Agassi's shot making.
  • Yet none of that bothered Dixon as much as the inability of his men to contest possession with a proper measure of confidence and aggression.
  • They played with confidence, aggression, threw the ball about well and looked like a team who believed in themselves.
confidence, self-confidence, boldness, audacity, self-assertion, assertion, assertiveness, self-assertiveness, determination, forcefulness, vigour, energy, dynamism, zeal


Early 17th century (in the sense 'an attack'): from Latin aggressio(n-), from aggredi 'to attack', from ad- 'towards' + gradi 'proceed, walk'.

  • progress from Late Middle English:

    Latin progressus ‘an advance’, was formed from pro- ‘forward’ and gradi ‘to walk, proceed’. Gradi is also found in regress (Late Middle English) ‘walk backwards’, aggression (early 17th century) originally ‘an attack’ by way of ‘proceeding towards’, and ingredients (Late Middle English) ‘things that enter into something’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ag¦gres|sion

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