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(pronounced truk-yuh-lunt)  adjective


1. harsh, cruel, bitterly scathing, or caustic (as in one’s spoken or written comments). 2. ever ready to argue, fight, or be defiant; brash, belligerent, or malevolent; ferocious; aggressively antagonistic.

Other Forms

Truculence (pronounced truk-yuh-luns) noun

Main Example

  • The hot verbal war between the U.S. and North Korea, which has included a rich diet of ad hominem attacks between President Donald Trump and their young leader Kim Jong-un, has for now eclipsed the almost equally truculent exchanges between the U.S. and Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.

Workplace Examples

  • I agree that Customer Support is entirely to blame for the loss of our biggest account. But still, it’s not a good idea to write them such an angry and truculent email. It’ll result in lasting bitterness. There are better, more constructive, ways to make them realize their incompetence...that they need to shape up.
  • When I look at the antagonism and truculence in some of the dissents that have accompanied the most controversial rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court, I cannot help but wonder if some of the justices are even on speaking terms.

Other Examples

  • a manager who becomes defensive and even truculent the moment anyone criticizes his organization
  • a driver’s truculent attitude toward a police officer after being pulled over; somebody giving you a truculent look
  • former tennis ace John McEnroe, who was given to frequent outbursts on the court, still remembered for his truculent criticism of the umpires
  • some television programs on Fox News Channel and MSNBC thriving on real or feigned truculence; Zimbabwe’s truculent dictator Robert Mugabe
  • Seemingly, there is no end in sight to the ready truculence that nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan have exhibited toward each other ever since their independence more than 70 years ago.

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