AskDefine | Define polemical

Dictionary Definition

polemical adj : of or involving dispute or controversy [syn: polemic]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. of, or relating to argument or controversy; polemic or contentious
  2. aggressive in verbal attack; disputatious.


of, or relating to argument or controversy; polemic or contentious
aggressive in verbal attack; disputatious


  1. A diatribe or polemic

Extensive Definition

Polemics () is the practice of disputing or controverting religious, philosophical, or political matters. As such, a polemic text on a topic is often written specifically to dispute or refute a position or theory that is widely viewed to be beyond reproach. The antonym of a polemic source is an apologia.
Polemic journalism was common in continental Europe when libel laws weren't stringent. The Research Support Libraries Programme "Pamphlet and polemic: pamphlets as a guide to the controversies of the 17th-19th centuries", co-managed by the University of St. Andrews, the University of Aberdeen, and University of Wales Lampeter, collected and placed thousands of pamphlets on-line as a study of polemic rhetoric of that era. There are other meanings of the word as well. Polemic is also a branch of theology, pertaining to the history or conduct of ecclesiastical controversy.
The word is derived from the Greek word polemikos (πολεμικως) which means "warlike", "hostile". Plato uses a character named Polemarchus in his dialogue Republic as a vehicle to drive forward an ethical debate.
polemical in Danish: Polemik
polemical in German: Polemik
polemical in Spanish: Polémica
polemical in French: Polémique
polemical in Indonesian: Polemik
polemical in Italian: Polemica
polemical in Dutch: Polemiek
polemical in Norwegian: Polemikk
polemical in Polish: Polemika
polemical in Portuguese: Polémica
polemical in Romanian: Polemică
polemical in Russian: Полемика
polemical in Slovak: Polemika
polemical in Finnish: Polemiikki
polemical in Swedish: Polemik

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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