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argumentum ad hominem

/ˌɑːɡjʊˈmɛntʊm æd ˈhɒmɪˌnɛm/
noun (logic)
fallacious argument that attacks not an opponent's beliefs but his motives or character
argument that shows an opponent's statement to be inconsistent with his other beliefs
an instance of either of these
Word Origin
literally: argument to the person
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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Examples from the Web for argumentum ad hominem
Historical Examples
  • It was an argumentum ad hominem, and drawn from a popular faith.

  • It was evident that the argumentum ad hominem did not please him.

    The Idiot at Home John Kendrick Bangs
  • argumentum ad hominem—appealing to an opponent's professed views.

    A Logic Of Facts George Jacob Holyoake
  • It was a masterful bit of hypocritical eloquence, of argumentum ad hominem; but it was made to simple and illiterate hearers.

    The Code of the Mountains Charles Neville Buck
  • I have necessarily, in answering the Senator, gone somewhat into the argumentum ad hominem.

    The Life of Jefferson Davis Frank H. Alfriend
  • The latter had nothing better to appeal to than that notoriously feeble resource, the argumentum ad hominem.

  • In a case like this the argumentum ad hominem, though a perfectly fair one, is a perfectly useless one.

  • It was not to this, however, that he directed his objection: the argumentum ad hominem came more easily to him.

    The Long Night Stanley Weyman
  • But it was the argumentum ad hominem; and if my uncle Toby was not very expert at it, you may think, he might not care to use it.

  • But I shall take the liberty to employ, on this occasion, the argumentum ad hominem.

    Crotchet Castle Thomas Love Peacock

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