logomachy

noun

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

Word History

Etymology

Greek logomachia, from log- + machesthai to fight

First Known Use

1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of logomachy was in 1569

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near logomachy

Cite this Entry

“Logomachy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/logomachy. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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