Definition of aggression in English:



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’
    • ‘Community workers, nurses, medical and paramedical staff are also in danger of aggression and violence.’
    • ‘So many of us strive to raise our children with good moral values including an aversion to violence and aggression.’
    • ‘To reduce levels of aggression and violence in children's lives and build peaceful societies.’
    • ‘Because they are always accompanied by a public display of aggression and anger, which I find upsetting.’
    • ‘If we want to discourage violence and aggression in our country, we need to look at its causes and I doubt that all this anger stemmed from a few lousy films!’
    • ‘It pained me to make my lines in the shadow of anger and aggression I often felt in our household.’
    • ‘It had to demonstrate that it operated to the very highest standards in its training of management of aggression and violence.’
    • ‘Direct aggression can shade into behaviour which may be characterised as violent or aggressive incidents.’
    • ‘Its rhetoric is one of violent aggression against anyone seen as its enemies.’
    • ‘But violent aggression isn't the only emotion Kimbo acts out in the drama.’
    • ‘Furthermore there is the issue of his aggression and hostile behaviour.’
    • ‘You think it's only East of here that blanket propaganda is creating aggression and violence?’
    • ‘This engenders despair that can develop into anger and aggression and eventually explode into violence.’
    • ‘But quite often those who cause trouble switch from a good mood to violence and aggression in an instant.’
    • ‘We all have feelings of anger and aggression, and so does your child.’
    • ‘Assault varies from verbal to full-blown aggression and violence.’
    • ‘In contrast, we experience anger and aggression when the disappointment is perceived as being caused by an external source.’
    • ‘He or she may have problems controlling anger and aggression.’
    • ‘Residents worry about overt drug dealing bringing a culture of violence, aggression and intimidation.’
    • ‘Georges Corm has shown how aggression and violence are founded on the prism of the communities.’
    hostility, aggressiveness, belligerence, bellicosity, antagonism, truculence
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The 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’
      • ‘Acts of aggression, massacres and corruption legitimise foreign intervention.’
      • ‘They are a legitimate use of force insofar as they are used in defense and retaliation against foreign aggression.’
      • ‘However, the raid was widely regarded as the first act of aggression in the war of independence in that part of the country.’
      • ‘A foreign occupation is an instance of the aggression of a state against civilians of another country.’
      • ‘The only way to prevent aggression is to counter it before it acts.’
      • ‘There have been… in all other nations, eulogists of aggression, war, and conquest.’
      • ‘To countenance such open advocacy and practice of aggression is to encourage the agents of anarchy.’
      • ‘The Norman dynasty is famous for its martial accomplishment, its aggression and, of course, its conquests.’
      • ‘Intervention in domestic politics often cements dictators in place by uniting the people against what they see as foreign aggression.’
      • ‘It was a conspiracy to ensure a war of aggression and conquest would be fought.’
      • ‘The country demands that people should work hard to make it prosperous and defend it at the time of aggression from the foreign forces.’
      • ‘The only significant expense involved is that of the military, to protect against foreign aggression.’
      • ‘The logic of imperialist conquest means that the next war of aggression is already well beyond the planning stage.’
      • ‘The goal, clearly, was to lay a trap for a war of aggression and conquest, not to negotiate for peace and security through disarmament.’
      • ‘The only tense moments were provoked by police over-reaction and aggression.’
      • ‘Politicians and military planners argued aerial offense was the most effective against foreign aggression or invasion.’
      • ‘The most obvious example of this is protection against foreign aggression and domination.’
      • ‘The wall was built by the Qin dynasty to deter foreign aggression from the north.’
      • ‘Are wars of aggression, wars for the conquest of colonies, then, just big business?’
      • ‘They were examples of absolute aggression, unequalled in surprise or impact since the Second World War.’
    2. 1.2 Forcefulness.
      ‘the sheer volume and aggression of his playing’
      • ‘This gem is uncut but he has the aggression, energy and, most of all, the pass to fill the gap Matt Dawson is currently plugging.’
      • ‘We played at a higher tempo than of late and we showed the aggression and the determination we have been lacking in recent games.’
      • ‘Playing with enthusiasm and aggression, they were consistently first to the ball.’
      • ‘The home pack was soon in trouble, feeling the full weight of Otley's controlled aggression from the first scrum.’
      • ‘They worked very hard and played with great skill, aggression and confidence.’
      • ‘What Pons lacked in brilliance, he made up for in aggression and energy.’
      • ‘The fight raged on with Barry maintaining the upper hand with long left hooks and sheer aggression.’
      • ‘Pavee readjusted their defense play and switched the aggression towards a determined goal hunt.’
      • ‘He's very skilful, he has the build, the aggression and determination.’
      • ‘It is also a matter of mind: and Thorpe holds in perfect balance his aggression and his grace.’
      • ‘They played with confidence, aggression, threw the ball about well and looked like a team who believed in themselves.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Butcher was prepared to take chances as he took on the bowlers but played with sense, aggression and confidence.’
      • ‘We had prepared very well all week showing aggression and determination yet on the day capitulated so easily in the second half.’
      • ‘Gattuso's energy and aggression has been a feature for Milan and for Italy for the last couple of seasons.’
      • ‘Giancarlo will provide us with a very competitive blend of aggression, consistency and hard work.’
      • ‘In Australia he had been overwhelmed by the moment and by the sheer aggression of Agassi's shot making.’
      • ‘Instead they countered the Indian bowlers mixing caution with aggression.’
      • ‘While aggression is a common virtue among champion pace predators, Walsh was adept at putting a lid on his temper.’
      confidence, self-confidence, boldness, audacity, self-assertion, assertion, assertiveness, self-assertiveness, determination, forcefulness, vigour, energy, dynamism, zeal
      View synonyms


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