noun \pə-ˈle-mik\

: a strong written or spoken attack against someone else's opinions, beliefs, practices, etc.

polemics : the art or practice of using language to defend or harshly criticize something or someone

Full Definition of POLEMIC

a :  an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another
b :  the art or practice of disputation or controversy —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
:  an aggressive controversialist :  disputant
po·lem·i·cist \-ˈle-mə-sist\ noun

Examples of POLEMIC

  1. Her book is a fierce polemic against the inequalities in our society.
  2. They managed to discuss the issues without resorting to polemics.

Origin of POLEMIC

French polémique, from Middle French, from polemique controversial, from Greek polemikos warlike, hostile, from polemos war; perhaps akin to Greek pelemizein to shake, Old English ealfelo baleful
First Known Use: 1638

Rhymes with POLEMIC


Next Word in the Dictionary: polemical
Previous Word in the Dictionary: pole mast
All Words Near: polemic

Seen & Heard

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