I was wondering if there is a word used to describe someone who starts arguments just because they get enjoyment/satisfaction out of it. And I don't mean a friendly debate I mean actual arguments, like a fight. I feel like there is a word for it but I can't think of it and if there is no word then I am going to make one for it :). P.S. "Devil's Advocate" is not the word I am looking for.

  • 1
    argumentative – Drew Mar 3 '17 at 1:16
  • An “argument clinician” especially those who argue on their spare time. – Jim Mar 3 '17 at 2:25
  • An instigator – fixer1234 Mar 3 '17 at 2:27
  • Are you looking for a noun or an adjective? We'll get closer to your meaning if you edit in an example sentence of where you'd use the word, with a ___ where the word would go. If you're open to adjectives, there are a lot to choose from—belligerent, pugnacious, contentious, combative, fighty, etc.—so you might want to add more details to help narrow it down. – 1006a Mar 3 '17 at 3:01
  • One suitable noun might be controversialist — one who is fond of or given to controversy or disputation, according to both Merriam-Webster and American Heritage dictionaries. – Sven Yargs Mar 3 '17 at 4:49

I'll tell you what I use.

See firebrand defined by Merriam Webster as

one that creates unrest or strife (as in aggressively promoting a cause)

There are also simple words such as agitator, trouble maker, rabble-rouser.

| improve this answer | |

It may not quite be the word you are looking for, but pretty close...


It means inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome.

| improve this answer | |

A contrarian is someone who takes an opposing view, especially for the sake of being difficult, contentious or in opposition to the generally held view.

| improve this answer | |
  • Welcome to English Language and Usage. Please take the tour and when you have a moment, read-up in the help center about how we work. A good first post which would benefit from linked references to support your claim. – Bitter dreggs. Apr 7 at 20:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.