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Specifically, I’m looking for a word that would imply readiness, if not giddiness, for a battle, fight, or war. In this particular instance, this person has the odds against them but is absolutely ready, with a smile on their face and determination in their eyes.

Example:

I looked over and – just from a brief glance – knew that he was ________________.

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  • Cruisin' for a bruisin'? Oct 8, 2016 at 16:24
  • Possibly "bloodthirsty"? Oct 8, 2016 at 16:26
  • The former is a phrase, I am really just looking for an adjective. However, if there is a suitable noun, that would be the "golden egg." Oct 8, 2016 at 16:31
  • I think the technical term is "battle-ready".
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 8, 2016 at 20:56
  • Also usable, but that is just slightly too generic. Oct 9, 2016 at 19:42

8 Answers 8

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Fired up means emotionally, and to some extent, physically ready for action. It's very similar to @RichardKayser's 'pumped'.

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How about pumped or ready to roll?

From The Free Dictionary:

pumped: emotionally excited; enthusiastic or eager

ready to roll: prepared to start doing something

Your example:

I looked over and--just from a brief glance--knew that he was pumped.

I looked over and--just from a brief glance--knew that he was ready to roll.

Both of these "imply readiness, if not giddiness, for a battle, fight, or war" and a person who "is absolutely ready, with a smile on their face and determination in their eyes".

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  • These are the best ones so far. Oct 9, 2016 at 1:22
  • @Mayhem Jensen - More ideas: itching for a fight, rarin' to go, thirsty for battle [or revenge]. Tip: if you can find one expression that works, you can use it as a bootstrap to get a list by using a thesaurus. Oct 9, 2016 at 1:23
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If you are looking to expressions more sophisticated than "combat-ready" or "ready to fight", consider "on a war footing", even if it generally used for a group (country, army, company, ...).

Definition: the condition of being prepared to undertake or maintain a combat.

Example: I think I'll approach it differently than, you know, say, my dad who had, you know, had a very - what's the right word for it? - a very - he was perpetually on a war footing with, you know, with the world.

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I think bellicose may fit in your context:

  • demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight.

and combative:

  • ready or eager to fight; pugnacious.

Oxford Dictionary

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  • Thank you, this is just what I was searching for. Would truculent be an acceptable substitute? I'm just looking for a small list that would fit the description. Oct 8, 2016 at 16:18
  • Yes, that also would convey the meaning you are looking for. You may also consider belligerent.
    – user66974
    Oct 8, 2016 at 16:20
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    @MayhemJensen - No, truculent doesn't work for this. Oct 9, 2016 at 1:16
  • I don't think bellicose or pugnacious fit your example sentence. I think they describe someone's general attitude or character. Oct 9, 2016 at 1:18
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I'd say, spoiling for a fight

be spoiling for a fight

to be very eager to fight or argue He says what he thinks, and so people think he always seems to be spoiling for a fight.

Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms

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  • this also works, but I'm looking for a single word, as tagged. Oct 9, 2016 at 19:36
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He was "keen" for battle - ready, eager, and enthusiastic - blind to their disadvantage and the bloodiness of war.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/keen

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Hardened: made or became more severe and less sympathetic.

Cambridge

Hardened: having developed a way of dealing with bad experiences so that they no longer upset you :

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What about "embattled"?

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:   Embattle \Em*bat"tle\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Embattled}; p. pr. &       vb. n. {Embattling}.] [OF. embataillier; pref. em- (L. in) +       F. bataille battle. See {Battle}, and cf. {Battlement}.]       To arrange in order of battle; to array for battle; also, to       prepare or arm for battle; to equip as for battle.

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  • Except that the term tends to imply being surrounded by the enemy.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 8, 2016 at 20:57
  • In that case, recall that the odds are against you, which could imply they are being surrounded so this also works. On the other hand, it sounds too casual and explanatory. thank you for the input. Oct 9, 2016 at 19:35

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