Definitions

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

  • n. A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.
  • n. A person engaged in or inclined to controversy, argument, or refutation.
  • adj. Of or relating to a controversy, argument, or refutation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who writes in support of one opinion, doctrine, or system, in opposition to another; one skilled in polemics; a controversialist; a disputant.
  • n. An argument or controversy.
  • n. ​ A strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.
  • adj. Having the characteristics of a polemic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to controversy; maintaining, or involving, controversy; controversial; disputative
  • adj. Engaged in, or addicted to, polemics, or to controversy; disputations.
  • n. One who writes in support of one opinion, doctrine, or system, in opposition to another; one skilled in polemics; a controversialist; a disputant.
  • n. A polemic argument or controversy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to controversy; controversial; disputative: as, a polemic essay or treatise; polemic divinity or theoIogy; polemic writers.
  • n. A disputant; one who carries on a controversy; a controversialist; one who writes in support of an opinion or a system in opposition to another.
  • n. A controversy; a controversial argument.

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

  • adj. of or involving dispute or controversy
  • n. a writer who argues in opposition to others (especially in theology)
  • n. a controversy (especially over a belief or dogma)

Etymologies

French polémique, from Greek polemikos, hostile, from polemos, war.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French polémique, from Ancient Greek πολεμικός (polemikós, "of war"), from πόλεμος (pólemos, "war") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.
    n. A person engaged in or inclined to controversy, argument, or refutation.
    adj. Of or relating to a controversy, argument, or refutation.
    from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
    n. A person who writes in support of one opinion, doctrine, or system, in opposition to another; one skilled in polemics; a controversialist; a disputant.
    n. An argument or controversy.
    n. ​ A strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.
    adj. Having the characteristics of a polemic.

    September 7, 2013

  • In an ideal state of society one might imagine the good New growing naturally out of the good Old, without the need for polemic and theory; this would be a society with a living tradition.

    T. S. Eliot, "Reflections on Vers Libre"

    August 25, 2011