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polemic (puh-LEM-ik, poh-) noun

1. A controversial argument.

2. A person who engages in arguments or controversy; a controversialist.

adjective, also polemical

Of or pertaining to a controversy or argument.

[From Greek polemikós, from pólemos (war). A related word is polemology (the science and study of human conflict and war).]

"However, there is unfortunately a degree of `the sky is falling' to this book. This tractate is clearly a polemic and a call for action."
A. Mark Clarfield; Mixing Politics and Public Health; The Jerusalem Post (Israel); May 8, 2001.

"In 1929, Virginia Woolf delivered a passionate polemic about the odds facing a woman born with a great gift for writing."
Edna O'Brien; Stone of the Heart; The New Yorker; Mar 24, 2003.

This week's theme: words with origins in war.


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