tu quoque

tu quo·​que | \ ˈtü-ˈkwō-kwē How to pronounce tu quoque (audio) , ˈtyü-, -ˈkō- \

Definition of tu quoque

: a retort charging an adversary with being or doing what the adversary criticizes in others

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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.

First Known Use of tu quoque

1614, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tu quoque

Latin, you too

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The first known use of tu quoque was in 1614

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Cite this Entry

“Tu quoque.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tu%20quoque. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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