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
Roof would go between partying with black friends and spewing racist diatribes to his white buddies, Scriven said shortly after the shootings.
Stung by battlefield losses to larger al-Shabaab forces, Islamic State has offered promises of an easier life: lower taxes, more tolerance for substance abuse and fewer political diatribes.
Mr. Trump did not repeat his Twitter jab at Mr. Ryan at a campaign event in Pennsylvania Monday afternoon, offering instead a red-meat diatribe unlikely to appeal beyond his dedicated base.
Another RT America host, Abby Martin, had previously denounced the annexation in an on-air diatribe, which RT pointed to as an example of its openness to opposing viewpoints.
Largely gone were the diatribes against opponents like the United States and Turkey.
Obama said that to achieve this rebalancing, the U.S. had to absorb the diatribes and insults of superannuated Castro manqués.
Deadspin published a diatribe this morning about the fanboy bandwagon that follows him and the Warriors around our digital world.
Fans met his diatribe with boos, The Independent reports.
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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.
Origin and Etymology of diatribe
Latin diatriba, from Greek diatribē pastime, discourse, from diatribein to spend (time), wear away, from dia- + tribein to rub — more at 1throw
First Known Use: 1581
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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