What does truculent (from Great Expectations) mean?
If you've ever met someone who is fierce, cruel, and savage — or, perhaps, rude, harsh, mean, or scathing — you would be accurate in describing that person as truculent.
In Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, Clara Barley is the gentle girl who marries Herbert after her abusive father, Old Barley, dies. (Herbert's secret nickname for Old Barley is Gruffandgrim.)
Here, Pip describes Clara upon meeting her for the first time:
She really was a most charming girl, and might have passed for a captive fairy, whom that truculent Ogre, Old Barley, had pressed into his service.