attacking an opponent's character or motives rather than answering the argument or claim.
appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.: Compare ad feminam.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ad hominem in a sentence
But it has become increasingly ad hominem, with particular focus on his alleged anti-Semitism.
When it comes to ad hominem attacks, neither Woffinden nor Rose can rest on safe ground.BBC Critics Cry Witch Hunt in Newsnight Child-Abuse Report | Peter Jukes | November 14, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
This was hardly an ad hominem assault, though West interpreted it that way.
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
And thus, when in future they are condemned, they will say ad hominem that they are unjust, and thus will refute their judgment.The Thoughts of Blaise Pascal | Blaise Pascal
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.The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman | Laurence Sterne
In a case like this the argumentum ad hominem, though a perfectly fair one, is a perfectly useless one.
British Dictionary definitions for ad hominem
directed against a person rather than against his arguments
based on or appealing to emotion rather than reason
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
Cultural definitions for ad hominem
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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.