Definitions

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

  • n. A bitter, abusive denunciation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An abusive, bitter denunciation.
  • n. A prolonged discourse.
  • n. A speech or writing which bitterly denounces something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A prolonged or exhaustive discussion; especially, an acrimonious or invective harangue; a strain of abusive or railing language; a philippic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as diatribe
  • n. A continued discourse or disputation.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. A bitter and violent criticism; a strain of invective.

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

  • n. thunderous verbal attack

Etymologies

Latin diatriba, learned discourse, from Greek diatribē, pastime, lecture, from diatrībein, to consume, wear away : dia-, intensive pref.; see dia- + trībein, to rub; see terə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested 1581, from Latin diatriba ("learned discussion or discourse"), from Ancient Greek διατριβή (diatribē, "way of spending time, lecture"), from διά (dia, "through") + τρίβω (tribō, "I waste, wear out") (Wiktionary)

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