Also er·is·ti·cal. pertaining to controversy or disputation; controversial.


a person who engages in disputation; controversialist.
the art of disputation.

Origin of eristic

1630–40; < Greek eristikós, equivalent to erist(ós) (verbid of erízein, derivative of éris discord) + -ikos -ic
Related formser·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eristic

Historical Examples of eristic

  • Here, then, is a double indication of the connexion of the Parmenides with the Eristic school.

  • Lucian's references to the school are as eristic or argumentative.

  • According to Aristotle himself, therefore, the Dialectician is agonistic and eristic, just as much as the Sophist.


    George Grote

  • Here again we catch a glimpse rather of a Socratic or Eristic than of a Sophist in the ordinary sense of the term.



  • He belonged to the fighting class, and was further distinguished as a hero of debate, who professed the eristic art.



British Dictionary definitions for eristic


adjective Also: eristical

of, relating, or given to controversy or logical disputation, esp for its own sake


a person who engages in logical disputes; a controversialist
the art or practice of logical disputation, esp if specious

Word Origin for eristic

C17: from Greek eristikos, from erizein to wrangle, from eris discord
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