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

Learn More About logomachy

Time Traveler for logomachy

Time Traveler

The first known use of logomachy was in 1569

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About logomachy

Dictionary Entries Near logomachy




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for logomachy

Cite this Entry

“Logomachy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/logomachy. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on logomachy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for logomachy


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!