lo·​gom·​a·​chy | \ lō-ˈgä-mə-kē How to pronounce logomachy (audio) \
plural logomachies

Definition of logomachy

1 : a dispute over or about words
2 : a controversy marked by verbiage

Did You Know?

It doesn't take much to start people arguing about words, but there's no quarrel about the origin of "logomachy." It comes from the Greek roots logos, meaning "word" or "speech," and machesthai, meaning "to fight," and it entered English in the mid-1500s. If you're a word enthusiast, you probably know that "logos" is the root of many English words ("monologue," "neologism," "logic," and most words ending in "-logy," for example), but what about other derivatives of "machesthai"? Actually, this is a tough one even for word whizzes. Only a few very rare English words come from "machesthai." Here are two of them: "heresimach" ("an active opponent of heresy and heretics") and "naumachia" ("an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle").

First Known Use of logomachy

1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for logomachy

Greek logomachia, from log- + machesthai to fight

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The first known use of logomachy was in 1569

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Cite this Entry

“Logomachy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/logomachy. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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