1. a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc.
  2. a person who argues in opposition to another; controversialist.


  1. Also po·lem·i·cal. of or relating to a polemic; controversial.

adjective Also: po’lemical

  1. of or involving dispute or controversy


  1. an argument or controversy, esp over a doctrine, belief, etc
  2. a person engaged in such an argument or controversy

n.1630s, “controversial argument or discussion,” from French polémique (16c./17c.), noun use of adjective meaning “disputatious, controversial” (see polemic (adj.)). adj.1640s, from French polémique (from Middle French polemique) “disputatious, controversial,” or directly from Greek polemikos “of war, warlike, belligerent; skilled in war, fit for service; like an enemy, stirring up hostility,” from polemos “war,” of unknown origin. Related: Polemical (1630s).

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