top of page

ad-hominem

IPA

How to pronounce ad-hominem (audio)

Dictionary definition of 'ad-hominem'

Attacking a person's character, rather than addressing the substance of their argument or position.
"The ad hominem remark was out of place in the professional setting."

Detailed meaning of 'ad-hominem'

It is derived from the Latin phrase "ad hominem," which means "to the person." When someone uses an ad hominem argument, they attack the character or personality of their opponent rather than engaging with their ideas or opinions. This can take many forms, including insults, personal attacks, or appeals to emotion. Ad hominem arguments are often used as a way to distract from the substance of an argument or to discredit the person making the argument. However, they are considered to be fallacious reasoning, as they do not address the merits of the argument itself. In essence, 'ad hominem' implies that someone is attacking the person rather than addressing the issue at hand, and it is generally viewed as a negative and ineffective form of argumentation.

History and etymology of 'ad-hominem'

The adjective 'ad-hominem' is a Latin term, directly derived from the Latin phrase 'ad hominem,' which means 'to the person' or 'against the person.' It is a compound of 'ad,' signifying 'to' or 'against,' and 'hominem,' meaning 'man' or 'person.' The etymology of 'ad-hominem' underscores its nature as a rhetorical or argumentative technique that involves attacking an opponent's character, credibility, or personal traits, rather than engaging with the substance of their argument or position. This tactic aims to discredit the person making the argument rather than addressing the validity of the argument itself, often diverting attention away from the actual issues being debated.

Example sentences containing 'ad-hominem'

1. The professor reminded the class to engage in respectful discussions without resorting to ad-hominem attacks.
2. The online forum became toxic with ad-hominem exchanges between users.
3. The courtroom erupted with ad-hominem accusations, overshadowing the trial proceedings.
4. The ad-hominem criticism only served to detract from the real issues at hand.
5. The author's response to the negative review was an ad-hominem rant, rather than addressing the critique.
6. The candidate's supporters engaged in ad-hominem smears against their opponent on social media.
7. The ad-hominem remarks made during the debate devolved into personal insults.
8. The talk show host was notorious for using ad-hominem attacks to discredit guests with differing opinions.
9. The ad-hominem approach undermined the credibility of the research study.
10. The student's response was an ad-hominem dismissal of the teacher's feedback.
11. The ad-hominem comments from the audience disrupted the speaker's presentation.
12. The newspaper published an editorial condemning the use of ad-hominem arguments in political campaigns.
13. The lawyer's defense relied on ad-hominem character attacks rather than presenting substantive evidence.
14. The ad-hominem nature of the conversation hindered any productive discussion.

Synonyms

synonym

Quiz categories containing 'ad-hominem'

category

Better Words_edited.jpg
Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same/different

bee_edited_edited.png

Spelling Bee

eb68db_db04991817c74e3aaef3676c85bcd75d.mp3

bottom of page