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Permanent link for this word: philippic


Jun 2, 2010
This week's theme
Words not named after the person they should be

This week's words
McKenzie
orrery
philippic
Buridan's ass
guillotine

Demosthenes
Demosthenes
(British Musuem, London)
Photo: Mark Crean

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

philippic

PRONUNCIATION:
(fi-LIP-ik)

MEANING:
noun: A bitter condemnation, usually in a speech.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek philippikos, the name given to orator Demosthenes's speeches urging Athenians to rise up against Philip II of Macedon.

USAGE:
"John McCain sat in the elegant ballroom of the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich and listened politely as President Putin delivered a full-throated rant against America and all that it stood for. Mr McCain has long been one of Mr Putin's most outspoken critics, but it was less a rush of anger that overwhelmed him as he listened to the Russian leader's philippic, and more a mounting sense of irony."
Gerard Baker; Support for War May Yet be the Undoing of John McCain; The Times (London, UK); Feb 15, 2007.

See more usage examples of philippic in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket, and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it, but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman. -Lord Chesterfield, statesman and writer (1694-1773)

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