diatribe

[dahy-uh-trahyb]
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Origin of diatribe

1575–85; < Latin diatriba < Greek diatribḗ pastime, study, discourse, derivative of diatríbein to rub away (dia- dia- + tríbein to rub)

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British Dictionary definitions for diatribe

diatribe

noun
  1. a bitter or violent criticism or attack; denunciation

Word Origin for diatribe

C16: from Latin diatriba learned debate, from Greek diatribē discourse, pastime, from diatribein to while away, from dia- + tribein to rub
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 diatribe
n.

1640s (in Latin form in English from 1580s), "discourse, critical dissertation," from French diatribe (15c.), from Latin diatriba "learned discussion," from Greek diatribe "employment, study," in Plato, "discourse," literally "a wearing away (of time)," from dia- "away" (see dia-) + tribein "to wear, rub," from PIE root *ter- "to rub, turn, twist" (see throw). Sense of "invective" is 1804, apparently from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper