from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Attacking a person's character or motivations rather than a position or argument.
  • adjective Appealing to the emotions rather than to logic or reason.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun To the man; to the interests or passions of the person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • A phrase applied to an appeal or argument addressed to the principles, interests, or passions of a man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun logical fallacy A fallacious objection to an argument or factual claim by appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim; an attempt to argue against an opponent's idea by discrediting the opponent himself.
  • noun A personal attack.
  • adjective Of or relating to ad hominem.
  • adverb In an ad hominem manner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective appealing to personal considerations (rather than to fact or reason)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin : ad, to + hominem, accusative of homō, man.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortened from the Latin expression argumentum ad hominem, argument at the man (man as in a human being, not man as a male). From argumentum (meaning "argument") + ad (meaning "to" or "at") + hominem, the accusative singular of homo (meaning "man"). It can also mean attacking the messenger.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word ad hominem.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.