• synonyms


  1. any of the orations delivered by Demosthenes, the Athenian orator, in the 4th century b.c., against Philip, king of Macedon.
  2. (lowercase) any speech or discourse of bitter denunciation.
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Origin of Philippic

1585–95; < Latin Philippicus < Greek Philippikós. See Philip, -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for philippics

tirade, screen, reproach, diatribe, exchange

Examples from the Web for philippics

Historical Examples of philippics

  • I will venture to quote from a contemporary his praise of the Philippics.

    The Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

  • While he was speaking his Philippics they could not but be243 enthusiastic on the same side.

    The Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

  • The momentum of his own philippics had brought Saul Fulton to his feet.

    The Tempering

    Charles Neville Buck

  • He himself called these Philippics, and there are three of them.

  • These are the famous "Philippics," of which you will often hear.

British Dictionary definitions for philippics


pl n
  1. Demosthenes' orations against Philip of Macedon
  2. Cicero's orations against Antony
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  1. a bitter or impassioned speech of denunciation; invective
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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 philippics



1590s, "bitter invective discourse," from Middle French philippique, from Latin (orationes) Philippicæ, translation of Greek Philippikoi (logoi), the speeches made in Athens by Demosthenes in 351-341 B.C.E. urging Greeks to unite and fight the rising power of Philip II of Macedon. The Latin phrase was used of the speeches made by Cicero against Marc Antony in 44 and 43 B.C.E.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper