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Word of the Day
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Definitions for ad hominem

  1. appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.
  2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

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Citations for ad hominem
Contemporary music criticism is a minefield rife with nasty, ad hominem attacks, and the most popular target, in recent years, has been those professing inadequate fealty to pop. Saul Austerlitz, "The Pernicious Rise of Poptimism," The New York Times, 2014
…a third way is to press a man with consequences drawn from his own principles or concessions. This is already known under the name argumentum ad hominem. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690
Origin of ad hominem
Ad hominem translates literally from Latin as "to the man." It entered English in the late 1500s.