tu quoque


tu quo·​que ˈtü-ˈkwō-kwē How to pronounce tu quoque (audio)
: a retort charging an adversary with being or doing what the adversary criticizes in others

Did you know?

A typical tu quoque involves charging your accuser with whatever it is you've just been accused of rather than refuting the truth of the accusation—an evasive strategy that may or may not meet with success. The term has been active in the English language for about 400 years and has been put to use by a number of English writers, including C.S. Lewis, who penned, "your condemnation of my taste is insolent; only manners deter me from a tu quoque." The term is Latin in origin and translates as "you too," although the translation "you're another" is sometimes used as well. Tu quoque functions in English as a noun, but it's often used attributively to modify other nouns, as in a tu quoque argument.

Examples of tu quoque in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This isn’t a tu quoque argument, mind you. David Harsanyi, National Review, 28 Feb. 2022

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

Word History


Latin, you too

First Known Use

1614, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tu quoque was in 1614


Dictionary Entries Near tu quoque

Cite this Entry

“Tu quoque.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tu%20quoque. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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