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)


Greek eristikos, from erizein, to wrangle, quarrel, from eris, erid-, strife.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the ancient Greek word meaning wrangle or strife. See also Eris. (Wiktionary)



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