po·​lem·​i·​cal pə-ˈle-mi-kəl How to pronounce polemical (audio)
variants or less commonly polemic
: of, relating to, or being a polemic : controversial
: engaged in or addicted to polemics : disputatious
polemically 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 Blowups at literary journals are not the most pressing news of the day, but the incident at Guernica reveals the extent to which elite American literary outlets may now be beholden to the narrowest polemical and moralistic approaches to literature. Phil Klay, The Atlantic, 12 Mar. 2024 Their common origin stories — riverfront military garrisons that grew into bicultural communities — have diverged in ways that reflect the dynamics of this contested and polemical region. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 29 Feb. 2024 This challenge is more complicated than supporting outright polemical films such as Land of Freedom, 200 Mules, and The Plot against the President. Armond White, National Review, 21 Feb. 2024 Now, with Mexico embarking upon another national election year — and with the 30th anniversary of the Colosio assassination approaching — the incendiary case, and all its polemical parts, have been thrust back into the political scrum. Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 2024 The film is a celebration and supposed to be uplifting and not polemical. Rafa Sales Ross, Variety, 17 Jan. 2024 Some described the weekly paper as too negative and polemical. Kevin Draper, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2023 In fact, the city has now erected signs explaining the polemical history of the site, with information about its builder. Nicholas Casey, New York Times, 12 June 2023 With his close friend and collaborator Walter Benn Michaels, Reed wrote the polemical version, which argued that, shortly after the death of George Floyd, an anti-racist fervor was clouding the political judgment of progressives. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polemical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of polemical was in 1615

Dictionary Entries Near polemical

Cite this Entry

“Polemical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polemical. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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