Definition of polemic
1a : an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of anotherb : the art or practice of disputation or controversy —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
2 : an aggressive controversialist : disputant
polemicistplay \-ˈle-mə-sist\ noun
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Examples of polemic in a Sentence
Her book is a fierce polemic against the inequalities in our society.
They managed to discuss the issues without resorting to polemics.
Recent Examples of polemic from the Web
Despite the billions that have been spent on pro-Israel programs, there’s a lack of approachable, popular histories that avoid polemics and actually teach you something.
Humor seems to be her way of taking the edge off the polemic, as well as an introvert’s channel of communication.
Books written in a time of crisis can make bad blueprints for a time of plenty, as polemics made in times of war are not always the best blueprint for policies in times of peace.
This is not a story about women’s failures, or a polemic against their advancement.
A distinguished Berkeley sociologist, Hochschild is a woman of the left, but her mission is empathy, not polemics.
The polemic was prompted by a Philadelphia man’s proposal to gather the most intelligent parrots and to breed them in a program that sounds a bit like avian eugenics.
Here’s a translation of what Charlotte Rampling said on Europe 1 Radio: Q. This year the Oscars are beset by polemics: No black actor or actress in the selection for the second year in a row.
Oliver Stone, our only other big-league filmmaker into polemic, is the William Castle of agitprop, best appreciated as a director of horror flicks.
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Did You Know?
When polemic was borrowed into English from French polemique in the mid-17th century, it referred (as it still can) to a type of hostile attack on someone's ideas. The word traces back to Greek polemikos, which means "warlike" or "hostile" and in turn comes from the Greek noun polemos, meaning "war." Other, considerably less common descendants of polemos in English include polemarch ("a chieftain or military commander in ancient Greece"), polemoscope (a kind of binoculars with an oblique mirror), and polemology ("the study of war").
Origin and Etymology of polemic
French polémique, from Middle French, from polemique controversial, from Greek polemikos warlike, hostile, from polemos war; perhaps akin to Greek pelemizein to shake, Old English ealfelo baleful
First Known Use: 1626
POLEMIC Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of polemic for English Language Learners
: a strong written or spoken attack against someone else's opinions, beliefs, practices, etc.
polemics : the art or practice of using language to defend or harshly criticize something or someone
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