di·​a·​lec·​ti·​cal | \ ˌdī-ə-ˈlek-ti-kəl How to pronounce dialectical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly dialectic \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈlek-​tik How to pronounce dialectic (audio) \

Definition of dialectical

1 philosophy
a : of, relating to, or in accordance with dialectic dialectical method dialectical reasoning
b : practicing, devoted to, or employing dialectic a dialectical philosopher
2 linguistics : of, relating to, or characteristic of a dialect

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Other Words from dialectical

dialectically \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈlek-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce dialectically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of dialectical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web My clear designer see-thru [sic] tote bag: tampons, dialectical behavioral therapy workbook (used), old receipts from a bodega, a dollar that’s ripped in half. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "This Writer Has No Feet, Loves Shoes, and Is the Funniest Person on Twitter," 10 Dec. 2019 The therapy is called dialectical behavior therapy, or D.B.T., and was developed by Marsha Linehan, a psychologist at the University of Washington. New York Times, "Getting a Handle on Self-Harm," 11 Nov. 2019 Though dialectical behavioral therapy is helpful for many, it's been found to be particularly helpful for people with borderline personality disorder. Allure, "Let’s Talk Therapy: Why We’re Spending October Destigmatizing the Mental Health Discussion," 30 Oct. 2019 Community and individual achievement are to coexist in a dialectical tension that creates a richer synthesis. Allison Wood, cleveland, "Three candidates running for two seats on Medina School Board," 1 Oct. 2019 The center employs a variety of therapeutic programs, using mainstream methods like dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy in individual, family and peer group counseling. Michelle Pitcher, The Mercury News, "New center helps teens evolve in their mental health," 23 Aug. 2019 Then, after about a month of reported dialectical behavioral treatment, Selena was released. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez Breaks Her Silence To Thank Fans on Instagram After Year Of "Challenges"," 14 Jan. 2019 The upshot of the film is a little murky, which is the risk of such a diffuse, dialectical approach, and certain details could be clearer. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Review: ‘Spiral’ Chronicles the Impact of Prejudice on Everyday Lives," 21 June 2018 Fans are often aware of the tensions their dialectical status as (anti)capitalists creates between themselves and media producers. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dialectical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dialectical

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dialectical

see dialectic

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Time Traveler for dialectical

Time Traveler

The first known use of dialectical was in 1532

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Statistics for dialectical

Last Updated

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dialectical.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialectical. Accessed 26 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on dialectical

Nglish: Translation of dialectical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dialectical for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dialectical

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


to express in a more acceptable way

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