1. A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.
2. A person engaged in or inclined to controversy, argument, or refutation.
adj. also po·lem·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
Of or relating to a controversy, argument, or refutation.
[French polémique, from Greek polemikos, hostile, from polemos, war.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.