Definition of aggressor in US English:



  • A person or country that attacks another first.

    • ‘One policeman knelt by the impotent aggressor and talked to him quietly.’
    • ‘He claimed he raised his foot to protect himself but the prosecution suggested he was the aggressor.’
    • ‘Nations that start wars are considered aggressors, and are judged harshly by both history and their peers.’
    • ‘In the case of international aggression this must be the aggressor as well as victims of aggression.’
    • ‘What was it that inspired the nation to repel the aggressors against all the odds?’
    • ‘Experience shows that some states are aggressors, not protectors.’
    • ‘If they continue repulsing air attacks the aggressor might reject the idea of developing invasion.’
    • ‘The target is attacked circuitously and the aggressor can therefore remain unidentified.’
    • ‘All the nations, the victims now become victors, the aggressors now defeated, once again assumed their positions in the political order.’
    • ‘For over 50 years our country, with our allies, has sought to avoid war by deterring potential aggressors.’
    • ‘The very fact of such a decision would in itself restore the balance of perceptions on the part of our allies and our potential aggressors.’
    • ‘Perhaps the grab has been accompanied by a knee, or a second aggressor is waiting to attack.’
    • ‘Gain an understanding of the aggressor's body language, and the rituals of aggression and deception that he will use against you.’
    • ‘So I'd attack my aggressors whether they were stronger than me or not.’
    • ‘Plants have developed elaborate mechanisms to protect themselves from invading pathogens and aggressors.’
    • ‘An aggressor might see a country whose armed forces project a poor public image as an easy target.’
    • ‘If one looks at the history, according to every witness the accused was the aggressor and was aggressive all the way through.’
    • ‘In both cases the nations of Europe went to war against an aggressor.’
    • ‘Tell the people killed or injured in a first strike by an aggressor that they are protected by the moral high ground.’
    • ‘The most moral and just use of violence is to pick up the gun to repel an intruder, an aggressor, an invader.’
    attacker, assaulter, assailant, invader
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from late Latin, from aggredi ‘to attack’ (see aggression).