noun lo·gom·a·chy \lō-ˈgä-mə-kē\

Definition of logomachy



  1. 1 :  a dispute over or about words

  2. 2 :  a controversy marked by verbiage

logomachy was our Word of the Day on 02/23/2010. Hear the podcast!

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").

Origin and Etymology of logomachy

Greek logomachia, from log- + machesthai to fight

First Known Use: 1569

Seen and Heard

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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