"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[dahy-uh-trahyb] /ˈdaɪ əˌtraɪb/
a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism:
repeated diatribes against the senator.
Origin of diatribe
1575-85; < Latin diatriba < Greek diatribḗ pastime, study, discourse, derivative of diatríbein to rub away (dia- dia- + tríbein to rub)
tirade, harangue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diatribe
  • Now, let's calm down and analyze your diatribe.
  • Your anti-capitalist diatribe is negative and biased.
  • In the future just read more closely and understand clearly before writing your diatribe.
  • This diatribe is so unrelentingly negative that it loses all power to persuade.
  • Not once in your multi-paragraph diatribe do you address the evidence.
  • It even contained a diatribe against the act of writing itself.
  • One man posted his diatribe against a hard-rock group on the site.
  • This is an astonishingly foolish, as well as incendiary, diatribe.
  • Disappointingly absent of journalistic distance, this diatribe fails to provide constructive suggestions for change.
  • The endless diatribe of pontification never fails to amaze me.
British Dictionary definitions for diatribe


a bitter or violent criticism or attack; denunciation
Word Origin
C16: from Latin diatriba learned debate, from Greek diatribē discourse, pastime, from diatribein to while away, from dia- + tribein to rub
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
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Word Origin and History for diatribe

1640s (in Latin form in English from 1580s), "discourse, critical dissertation," from French diatribe (15c.), from Latin diatriba "learned discussion," from Greek diatribe "employment, study," in Plato, "discourse," literally "a wearing away (of time)," from dia- "away" (see dia-) + tribein "to wear, rub," from PIE root *ter- "to rub, turn, twist" (see throw). Sense of "invective" is 1804, apparently from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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