AskDefine | Define truculent

Dictionary Definition

truculent adj
1 defiantly aggressive; "as truculent as a small boy who thinks his big brother can lick anybody"
2 aggressively hostile; "a truculent speech against the new government"

User Contributed Dictionary



First attested circa 1540, from truculentus, "fierce, savage," from trucis, genitive of trux, "fierce, wild."


  • , /ˈtrʌkjʊlənt/


  1. Of things or persons that are cruel or savage
    When we were touring on a riverboat near Dandong, the truculent North Korean soldiers from the other side of the river gave us a steely-eyed death stare.
  2. Deadly or destructive.
  3. Defiant or uncompromising.


  • 1847 — Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, ch VI
    In her turn, Helen Burns asked me to explain, and I proceeded forthwith to pour out, in my own way, the tale of my sufferings and resentments. Bitter and truculent when excited, I spoke as I felt, without reserve or softening.
  • 1860-1861 — Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, ch XLVI
    She really was a most charming girl, and might have passed for a captive fairy, whom that truculent Ogre, Old Barley, had pressed into his service.
  • 1895 — H. G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance, ch 10
    Most of them were little dramatic situations, crucial dialogues, the return of Mr. Hoopdriver to his native village, for instance, in a well-cut holiday suit and natty gloves, the unheard asides of the rival neighbours, the delight of the old 'mater,' the intelligence—"A ten-pound rise all at once from Antrobus, mater. Whad d'yer think of that?" or again, the first whispering of love, dainty and witty and tender, to the girl he served a few days ago with sateen, or a gallant rescue of generalised beauty in distress from truculent insult or ravening dog.
  • 1914 — Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Beasts of Tarzan, ch 10
    If he came too close to a she with a young baby, the former would bare her great fighting fangs and growl ominously, and occasionally a truculent young bull would snarl a warning if Tarzan approached while the former was eating.
  • 1922 — Rafael Sabatini, Captain Blood: His Odyssy, ch XVI
    Cahusac appeared to be having it all his own way, and he raised his harsh, querulous voice so that all might hear his truculent denunciation.


cruel or savage
deadly or destructive
defiant or uncompromising

See also




Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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