Definition of polemic in English:

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Pronunciation: /pəˈlemik/


1A strong verbal or written attack on someone or something: his polemic against the cultural relativism of the sixties a writer of feminist polemic
More example sentences
  • Its underlying message warns against falsehood and its consequences, although it does not ostensibly function as a polemic against homophobia.
  • And yet, the song is not just a polemic against those who are in power.
  • The latter may be because I'd always prefer to read a punchy polemic against ideas I hold than a dull defence or clunky statement of them.
diatribe, invective, rant, tirade, broadside, attack, harangue, condemnation, criticism, stricture, admonition, rebuke;
informal blast
formal castigation
literary philippic
argumentation, argument, debate, contention, disputation, discussion, altercation
formal contestation
1.1 (usually polemics) The art or practice of engaging in controversial debate or dispute: the history of science has become embroiled in religious polemics
More example sentences
  • As the rest of the world marched towards scientific orientation and professionalism, India wallowed in a whirlpool of politics, polemics and puerile prejudices.
  • His work thus has the tendency to reproduce the elisions of the religious and political polemics of the sixteenth century while seeking to explain them.
  • This led to renewed polemics, although in practice the great majority of students continued to be taught the Catholic religion in the schools.


another term for polemical.
Example sentences
  • The other part is that these policies our present or future governments develop for mainly polemic purposes sometimes actually get implemented!
  • I really do think it's perfectly OK to expose one's passions and prejudices in unashamedly polemic writing on a blog.
  • Much of this, expressed in less polemic language, is accepted by many of the historians that Jenkins seeks to criticize.



Pronunciation: /pəˈleməˌsīz/
Example sentences
  • It is a portrait of a unique situation that I never experienced, and it does not go out of its way to generalize or polemicize, though it has its strong opinions.
  • There are poems steeped in religious imagery, and poems that polemicise against belief in the supernatural.
  • Jackson's hybrid approach and heterogeneous materials, including brochures with song lyrics and lists of things you can't send abroad, polemicized the devices of installation art.


Mid 17th century: via medieval Latin from Greek polemikos, from polemos 'war'.

Words that rhyme with polemic

academic, alchemic, endemic, epidemic, pandemic, totemic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: po·lem·ic

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