po·​lem·​i·​cal | \ pə-ˈle-mi-kəl How to pronounce polemical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly polemic \ pə-​ˈle-​mik How to pronounce polemic (audio) \

Definition of polemical

1 : of, relating to, or being a polemic : controversial
2 : engaged in or addicted to polemics : disputatious

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Other Words from polemical

polemically \ pə-​ˈle-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce polemically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of polemical in a Sentence

during the Middle Ages even theologians could be surprisingly polemical in their writings an unnecessarily polemical look at the supposed incompatibility between science and religion
Recent Examples on the Web Intentionally provocative, artistically uncompromising and self-consciously polemical, La Leyenda Negra attempts to inform by incitement, challenging audiences to concede to an unvarnished view of migrant life in working-class Los Angeles. Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'La Leyenda Negra': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 28 Jan. 2020 My surmise is that the statement is not logical but political: its officials harbor the fear that the Holocaust will become little more than a polemical weapon in ideological contests between left and right. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Why Historical Analogy Matters," 7 Jan. 2020 The extraordinary partisanship of this decade fueled a tremendous market for polemical books. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "11 trends that changed the way we read this decade," 24 Dec. 2019 The product is an interesting and readable, if sometimes polemical, case that the reader will find informative in the context of conversations about socialist thought. Phillip W. Magness, National Review, "Rand Paul’s Case against Socialism," 19 Dec. 2019 In a lengthy polemical review of Zuboff’s ideas, socialist cultural critic Evgeny Morozov said some of her conclusions on surveillance capitalism outrun her evidence. Washington Post, "Meet the scholar who diagnosed ‘surveillance capitalism’," 11 Dec. 2019 Much of his later work is flat-footed and polemical, when compared to his initial accomplishments in institutional critique. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Hans Haacke, at the New Museum, Takes No Prisoners," 30 Oct. 2019 Cohen, an American historian at Harvard, reminds the reader, as any first-rate historian would, that what look, in the retrospective cartooning of polemical history, like obvious choices and clear moral lessons are usually gradated and surprising. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Why They Bulldozed Your Block," 21 Oct. 2019 An Officer and a Spy, the latest from the Oscar-winning, and polemical, director premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival on Friday, but Polanski wasn't there. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Venice: Roman Polanski Skips Premiere of 'An Officer and a Spy'," 30 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polemical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of polemical

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of polemical was in 1615

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Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polemical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polemical. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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