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  • Adj.

truculent

TRUHK-yuh-luhnt

Context
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Old European tales are filled with truculent, bullying, and aggressive characters who argue a great deal. Who could forget the grumpy, bad-tempered, and truculent troll who jealously guarded the passage across his stone bridge in “The Three Billy Goats Gruff?” Also memorable is the savage, hostile, truculent giant in “Jack and the Beanstalk” who chases Jack down from his castle in the sky, swinging his club in violent anger.

Quiz: When is someone being truculent?

  • When they act in an aggressive and quarrelsome way.
  • When they tell a number of falsehoods for their own purposes.
  • When they are hopeless or lost—and do not know what to do about it.

Memory Hook
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Truculent Violent Truck Imagine truculent Chuck as a violent truck and you'll understand why he's a bully of students and teachers alike.

Examples
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  • First coming aboard, a new arrival makes a cautious survey of the crew, trying to winnow the affable and good-natured from the surly and truculent. — Jack Vance, American mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writer Jack vance, american mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writer
  • Steinbrenner’s truculent, the-boss-is-always-right style created epic clashes with his managers and players, not the least of which was with Billy Martin, whom he dumped as manager five times. —TIME
  • Dana laced his messages with such obscurities as "truculent" and "hibernating," words these young cipher operators had never heard before and had no idea what they meant. . . . Lincoln could have told them what those words meant, for he had had firsthand experience in these weary three years of civil war with truculent generals and hibernating armies. —The New York Times
  • Mr. Scott’s gravelly voice and initially truculent manner yield to mellowness, as the reclusive Huck gradually admits recognizing his "friend of long ago." —The Christian Science Monitor

Word Ingredients
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truc ferocious, grim, savage
-ulent rich in, full of

A truculent person is “full of savagery” or “rich in ferocity.”

Word Theater
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Are You Being Served Mrs. Slocum is certainly truculent!
Truculent

Word Constellation
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Truculent