Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

diatribe

play
noun di·a·tribe \ˈdī-ə-ˌtrīb\

Simple Definition of diatribe

  • : an angry and usually long speech or piece of writing that strongly criticizes someone or something

Full Definition of diatribe

  1. 1 archaic :  a prolonged discourse

  2. 2 :  a bitter and abusive speech or piece of writing

  3. 3 :  ironic or satirical criticism

Examples of diatribe

  1. … his apparent inability to keep his pen from drifting from the main objective of his words into diatribe must have taken away from the sound and otherwise convincing arguments that he advanced. —Henry Petroski, Engineers of Dreams, 1995

  2. I looked … and listened to her ahistorical and apolitical diatribe. Her comments were a more extreme form of the kind of Black bashing I've often heard … —Itabari Njeri, “Sushi and Grits,” in Lure and Loathing, 1993

  3. … gradually I realize the headman's diatribe has begun to feature a new term I was unfamiliar with at the time—the word for caterpillar, as it turns out, in the Iban dialect. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, Harper's, April 1993

  4. The article is a diatribe against mainstream media.

  5. a bitter diatribe about how unfair the tax system is



Origin of diatribe

Latin diatriba, from Greek diatribē pastime, discourse, from diatribein to spend (time), wear away, from dia- + tribein to rub — more at throw


First Known Use: 1581

Rhymes with diatribe



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up diatribe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ