Examples of diatribe in a Sentence
- … 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
- 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
- … 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
The article is a diatribe against mainstream media.
a bitter diatribe about how unfair the tax system is
Recent Examples of diatribe from the Web
The angry letters stopped for about six months – until Lewis mailed Brown a fresh diatribe about his triumph in London.
The hate is being measured in rallies by white supremacists, in hate crimes against minorities, in public diatribes against elected leaders, in internet postings by hate groups, and even in arguments between friends and neighbors.
In a scene that patently parallels the soapbox speaker’s diatribe at the start of the film, now another crowd of men are gathered, this time in front of a Nazi speaker, who blames the country’s ills on Jews, Catholics and Freemasons.
An MP himself, Keyes listened to the prime minister’s diatribe with mounting anger and disbelief.
And there’s always Kitty O’Shea’s on the same block, an Irish pub where the U.K. Independence Party’s Nigel Farage can sometimes be found delivering his latest diatribe against the European project to anyone who’ll listen.
Trump Jr. also claims that the meeting didn’t provide any information about Clinton and instead turned into a diatribe on Russian adoptions.
Lefty journalist Eric Alterman also gets some of the blame, as his 2003 book What Liberal Media? featured a long diatribe against that evil pseudoscientist Charles Murray, which naturally piqued my interest.
Corbyn launched a furious diatribe from across the aisle, blaming austerity measures for a decline in public safety in recent years.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diatribe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
History of diatribe
In modern times, a diatribe is not something most of us want to endure:
Our manager privately subjected a few of us to a lengthy diatribe about how terrible the company's new policy is.
I'd prefer a reasoned argument to the diatribes that typically litter the newspaper's editorial page.
That wasn't true in the word's early days, though.
When English speakers adopted diatribe in the late 16th century, they were glancing back at the ancients. The word comes from Greek diatribē, meaning "pastime" or "discourse," by way of Latin diatriba. The English word first referred to the popular lectures of ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, the usual topic of which was ethics.
When the word diatribe referred to written work in this context, that work was understood to be either a transcription of such a lecture, or a written development of one. According to some, these oral and written diatribes were the model on which modern sermons were built.
Over time, this very specific meaning of diatribe developed a more general meaning that didn't require the ancients themselves: any prolonged discourse—written or oral—could be considered a diatribe. That sense of the word, however, is now archaic; you don't typically find it in modern contexts.
When diatribe is used today, the connotation is quite different. The word most often refers to a bitter or abusive speech or piece of writing, as in the examples given above.
Synonymstirade, harangue, jeremiad, philippic, rant
Related Wordsassault, attack, broadside, invective, lambasting, lashing, tongue-lashing, vituperation; berating, chewing out, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reproof; abuse, castigation, censure, condemnation, criticism, denunciation; belittlement, deprecation, depreciation, disparagement, dissing; excoriation, execration, revilement; admonishment, admonition, lecture, sermon
Near Antonymsencomium, eulogy, panegyric, rhapsody, tribute; acclaim, acclamation, accolade, citation, homage, honor, praise; approval, blessing, commendation, endorsement (also indorsement), sanction; ovation, plaudit, rave
DIATRIBE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of diatribe for English Language Learners
: an angry and usually long speech or piece of writing that strongly criticizes someone or something
Seen and Heard
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