Definitions

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

  • adj. Given to or characterized by disputatious, often specious argument.
  • n. One given to or expert in dispute or argument.
  • n. The art or practice of disputation and polemics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of something or someone provoking strife, controversy or discord.
  • n. One who makes specious arguments; one who is is disputatious.
  • n. A type of dialogue or argument where the participants do not have any reasonable goal. The aim is to argue for the sake of conflict, and often to see who can yell the loudest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Controversial.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to disputation or controversy; controversial; disputatious; captious.
  • n. One given to disputation; a controversialist.
  • n. An art of logical criticism practised by the Megarics and other ancient philosophers. It has the appearance of mere captiousness and quibbling, but had a serious motive.

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

  • n. a person who disputes; who is good at or enjoys controversy
  • adj. given to disputation for its own sake and often employing specious arguments
  • n. the art of logical disputation (especially if specious)

Etymologies

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

Greek eristikos, from erizein, to wrangle, quarrel, from eris, erid-, strife.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the ancient Greek word meaning wrangle or strife. See also Eris.

Examples

Comments

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  • "But whatever clever eristic moves you make, there's a problem on the horizon—extreme academe is heading our way." "Will the Book Survive Generation Text?" by Carlin Romano, in The Chronicle Review

    September 3, 2010

  • I Am Lapidary But Not Eristic When I Use Big Words

    February 16, 2009

  • Comes from Eris, the goddess of discord?

    January 26, 2009

  • Hey, that's the same article that brought me here to this word! :)

    December 19, 2008

  • Does free speech tend to move toward the truth or away from it? When does it evolve into a better collective understanding? When does it collapse into the Babel of trolling, the pointless and eristic game of talking the other guy into crying “uncle�??

    The New York Times, The Trolls Among Us, by Mattathias Schwartz, August 3, 2008

    August 1, 2008