What does aggression mean?

Definitions for aggression
əˈgrɛʃ ənag·gres·sion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word aggression.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. aggressionnoun

    a disposition to behave aggressively

  2. aggression, aggressivenessnoun

    a feeling of hostility that arouses thoughts of attack

  3. aggression, hostilitynoun

    violent action that is hostile and usually unprovoked

  4. aggressionnoun

    the act of initiating hostilities

  5. aggressionnoun

    deliberately unfriendly behavior


  1. aggressionnoun

    The act of initiating hostilities or invasion.

  2. aggressionnoun

    The practice or habit of launching attacks.

  3. aggressionnoun

    Hostile or destructive behavior or actions.

  4. Etymology: From aggression, from aggressio, from aggressus, past participle of aggredior.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Aggressionnoun

    The first act of injury; commencement of a quarrel by some act of iniquity.

    Etymology: aggressio, Lat.

    There is no resisting of a common enemy, without an union for a mutual defence; and there may be also, on the other hand, a conspiracy of common enmity and aggression. Roger L'Estrange.


  1. Aggression

    Aggression is overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual; although it can be channeled into creative and practical outlets for some. It may occur either reactively or without provocation. In humans, aggression can be caused by various triggers, from frustration due to blocked goals to feeling disrespected. Human aggression can be classified into direct and indirect aggression; whilst the former is characterized by physical or verbal behavior intended to cause harm to someone, the latter is characterized by behavior intended to harm the social relations of an individual or group.In definitions commonly used in the social sciences and behavioral sciences, aggression is an action or response by an individual that delivers something unpleasant to another person. Some definitions include that the individual must intend to harm another person.In an interdisciplinary perspective, aggression is regarded as "an ensemble of mechanism formed during the course of evolution in order to assert oneself, relatives or friends against others, to gain or to defend resources (ultimate causes) by harmful damaging means ... These mechanisms are often motivated by emotions like fear, frustration, anger, feelings of stress, dominance or pleasure (proximate causes) ... Sometimes aggressive behavior serves as a stress relief or a subjective feeling of power." Predatory or defensive behavior between members of different species may not be considered aggression in the same sense. Aggression can take a variety of forms, which may be expressed physically, or communicated verbally or non-verbally: including anti-predator aggression, defensive aggression (fear-induced), predatory aggression, dominance aggression, inter-male aggression, resident-intruder aggression, maternal aggression, species-specific aggression, sex-related aggression, territorial aggression, isolation-induced aggression, irritable aggression, and brain-stimulation-induced aggression (hypothalamus). There are two subtypes of human aggression: (1) controlled-instrumental subtype (purposeful or goal-oriented); and (2) reactive-impulsive subtype (often elicits uncontrollable actions that are inappropriate or undesirable). Aggression differs from what is commonly called assertiveness, although the terms are often used interchangeably among laypeople (as in phrases such as "an aggressive salesperson").


  1. aggression

    Aggression refers to behaviors that are intended to cause harm or damage to another individual or property. This harm can be physical, psychological, or emotional. It's a form of response that often stems from feelings of anger or threat. The aggression might be direct such as physical violence or indirect such as spreading rumors or manipulation. It can also be either reactive, as a response to a perceived threat, or proactive, through unprovoked behaviors with the intention of dominance or control.

  2. aggression

    Aggression is a behavior characterized by strong, often hostile or violent, actions or attitudes towards others with the intent to dominate, harm, or intimidate. This can be expressed both physically and verbally, and can often result from frustration, conflict, stress, or feeling threatened.

  3. aggression

    Aggression is a behavior characterized by strong self-assertion with hostile or harmful intent, often involving threats, physical violence or a display of force. This can be towards oneself, other individuals, or groups, and can be manifest physically or verbally. It may be motivated by fear, frustration, anger, or an innate predisposition, and may be directed randomly or against specific targets.

  4. aggression

    Aggression is a behavior or set of behaviors characterized by hostility, forcefulness or attack, often intended to dominate or harm another individual or group physically or psychologically. It can be verbal, physical or passive, and can be driven by various factors such as anger, frustration, or the need for control.

  5. aggression

    Aggression is a type of behavior characterized by actions intended to cause harm or inflict damage to others, either physically or emotionally. This behavior can emerge out of anger, fear, or frustration, and may be direct (such as hitting) or indirect (such as spreading rumors). It can also refer to assertive and forceful actions or attitudes that are intended to dominate or control.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Aggressionnoun

    the first attack, or act of hostility; the first act of injury, or first act leading to a war or a controversy; unprovoked attack; assault; as, a war of aggression. "Aggressions of power."


  1. Aggression

    Aggression, in its broadest sense, is behavior, or a disposition, that is forceful, hostile or attacking. It may occur either in retaliation or without provocation. In narrower definitions that are used in social sciences and behavioral sciences, aggression is an intention to cause harm or an act intended to increase relative social dominance. Predatory or defensive behavior between members of different species may not be considered aggression in the same sense. Aggression can take a variety of forms and can be physical or be communicated verbally or non-verbally. Aggression differs from what is commonly called assertiveness, although the terms are often used interchangeably among laypeople, e.g. an aggressive salesperson.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Aggression

    ag-gresh′un, n. first act of hostility or injury: a breach of the peace: an attack on public privileges. [L. aggredi, -gressusad, to, gradi, to step.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Aggression

    A form of behavior which leads to self-assertion; it may arise from innate drives and/or a response to frustration; may be manifested by destructive and attacking behavior, by covert attitudes of hostility and obstructionism, or by healthy self-expressive drive to mastery. (Dorland 27th ed)

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. aggression

    The first act of injury in provoking warfare.

Suggested Resources

  1. aggression

    Song lyrics by aggression -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by aggression on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'aggression' in Nouns Frequency: #2594

How to pronounce aggression?

How to say aggression in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of aggression in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of aggression in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of aggression in a Sentence

  1. Lyndon B. Johnson:

    Our purpose in Vietnam is to prevent the success of aggression. It is not conquest, it is not empire, it is not foreign bases, it is not domination. It is, simply put, just to prevent the forceful conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam.

  2. Laura Cooper:

    Ukraine, and also Georgia, are the two front-line states facing Russian aggression, in order to deter further Russian aggression, we need to be able to shore up these countries abilities to defend themselves.Thats, I think, pure and simple, the rationale behind our strategy of supporting these countries.Its in our interest to deter Russian aggression elsewhere around the world.

  3. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite:

    We are probably facing a hot war, russia is demonstrating open military aggression in Ukraine, open military aggression in Syria. There is nothing cold about this, it is very hot.

  4. Prashant Agarwal:

    We often don't think about the consequences behind the actions we make, although the moment when you realise the actual reason and consequence behind your aggression; then you can certainly utilise that aggression in a productive and positive outcome. Therefore many a times realization results in making you utilise your aggression in the right direction.

  5. Mary J. Ruwart:

    [T]he Swiss people are the best practitioners of the ideals of non-aggression. The Swiss national government posts are parttime positions. Most decisions are made at the canton (state) level. Swiss per capita income is the highest in the world, showing that non-aggression pays. How did the Swiss come to adopt a relatively non-aggressive constitution in an aggressive world? In the mid-1800s, they imitated our constitution and stuck with it!

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"aggression." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 9 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/aggression>.

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    a feeling facetious merriment
    • A. jocularity
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