The CANTANKEROUS Cluster Words Relating to QUARRELING, FIGHTING, and BITTER Feelings
ANIMOSITY n. Hatred, ill will
So much ANIMOSITY grew between Mark and Mike that they never were buddies again. Ursula’s ANIMOSITY toward Eddie hardened her heart. Sonya’s sarcasm raised the level of ANIMOSITY between Liz and her. ANIMOSITY
ANTAGONISM N. hatred or hostility
ANTAGONISM • Stan’s mocking and teasing incited ANTAGONISM among his teammates. • He is tormented by the ANTIGONISM of his classmates, who ride him unmercifully.
BELLICOSE • Adj. of a quarrelsome nature; eager to fight; warlike; belligerent
The speech was full of BELLICOSE threats, suggesting war was at hand. The BELLICOSE coach lost his job after he told his players, “Kill them bums!” BELLICOSE
BELLIGERENT Adj. Taking part in war or fighting; ready to fight
BELLIGERENT • After two decades of war, the BELLIGERENTS made peace. • When told to rewrite her essay, Gertie grew BELLIGERENT and yelled at her teacher. • Noah’s BELLIGERENCE started the fight.
CANTANKEROUS Adj. Bad-tempered; quarrelsome
CANTANKEROUS • Grandma and Grandpa are a CANTANKEROUS old couple, always fighting and scolding. • When my dad gets up on the wrong side of the bed, he’s CANTANKEROUS all day long!
CAPTIOUS Adj. Made for the sake of quarreling, quibbling
CAPTIOUS • My English teacher quibbles over every word. She criticizes her students’ writing with CAPTIOUS comments. • Jon used to be laid-back, but since his divorce he’s become quite CAPTIOUS. • My supervisor does nothing but bicker with the staff. His CAPTIOUSNESS has caused several employees to quit.
CONTENTIOUS Adj. quarrelsome, belligerent
CONTENTIOUS • You can’t talk to CONTENTIOUS Cal without getting into an argument. • I get along well with my sister, but my brother and I are usually CONTENTIOUS. • If you don’t stop being CONTENTIOUS, no one will want to cooperate with you.
DISPUTATIOUS Adj. likely to dispute or argue
DISPUTATIOUS Ken loves to argue just for the sake of arguing. With such a DISPUTATIOUS personality, he’s sure to become a trial lawyer!
POLEMICAL ELOQUENT Adj. Inclined to argue or debate; controversial
POLEMICAL • The speech was not a reasonable argument against gun control; it was more of a POLEMIC. • 24 hour talk TV pundits glory in POLEMICAL arguments. It pumps up their ratings.
PREDATOR N. One who takes advantage of another, exploits or feeds on another; a strong adversary or rival
He’s a con man, a known PREDATOR on unsuspecting old folds who trust him to profitably invest their life savings. Watch out for PREDATORY schemers who’ll take your money and run! PREDATOR
PUGNACIOUS --combative --quick to fight --belligerent
PUGNACIOUS • PUGNACIOUS Paul, as you might expect, was involved in another schoolyard brawl. • Walter and Willa are a PUGNACIOUS pair, always squabbling and fighting. • Beware of PUGNACIOUS salesmen who’ll bully you into buying things you don’t need.