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ad hominem

[ad hom-uh-nuh m -nem, ahd‐]
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adjective
  1. appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.
  2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.
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Compare ad feminam.

Origin of ad hominem

< Latin: lit, to the man
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ad hominem

mudslinging, smear, muckraking, name-calling

British Dictionary definitions for ad hominem

ad hominem

adjective, adverb
  1. directed against a person rather than against his arguments
  2. based on or appealing to emotion rather than reason
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Word Origin for ad hominem

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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.

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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.