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ad hominem

[ad hom-uh-nuh m -nem, ahd‐] /æd ˈhɒm ə nəm -ˌnɛm, ɑd‐/
appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.
attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.
Compare ad feminam.
Origin of ad hominem
< Latin: lit, to the man Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ad hominem
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is arguing 'ad hominem' according to the notions of mythology current in his age.

    Apology Plato
  • There is no retort to such a proposition as this so proper as the argument not ad hominem, but ab or ex homine.

  • And thus, when in future they are condemned, they will say ad hominem that they are unjust, and thus will refute their judgment.

British Dictionary definitions for ad hominem

ad hominem

/æd ˈhɒmɪˌnɛm/
adjective, adverb
directed against a person rather than against his arguments
based on or appealing to emotion rather than reason
Compare ad rem See also argumentum ad hominem
Word Origin
literally: to the man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ad hominem

c.1600, Latin, literally "to a man," from ad "to" (see ad-) + hominem, accusative of homo "man" (see homunculus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ad hominem in Culture
ad hominem [(ad hom-uh-nem, ad hom-uh-nuhm)]

A Latin expression meaning “to the man.” An ad hominem argument is one that relies on personal attacks rather than reason or substance.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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