1. inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.
Pugnacious people, if they did not actually terrify Oscar, were at least the sort of people he could not control, and whom he feared as possibly able to coerce him. – George Bernard Shaw, “My Memories of Oscar Wilde,” Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions by Frank Harris, 1916
In addition, Rose, in retirement, had often resorted to the headfirst, pugnacious style he displayed as a player, not always seeming contrite about what he had done wrong.
– Michael S. Schmidt, “Dear Pete Rose: It’s Still a No. Sincerely, Baseball,” New York Times, December 14, 2015
Pugnacious stems from the Latin pugnāre meaning “to fight,” and shares ancestry with English word pugilism meaning “the art or practice of fighting with the fists; boxing.” Pugnacious entered English in the mid-1600s.