argumentum ad hominem

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Borrowed from Latin.


argumentum ad hominem (plural argumenta ad hominem or argumentums ad hominem)

  1. (logic) A type of fallacious argument in which the attempt is made to refute a theory or belief by discrediting the person(s) who advocate that theory or belief; an ad hominem argument.
    • 1843 March 13, “St. Patrick's Day”, in The Illustrated London News, volume 2, number 46, page 185:
      “He is an ass on two legs, the like of which was never seen before; so go home with your logic you old heathen vagabond, and teach your grandmother to milk the ducks!” The legend which we draw on, and which, never having been in print, we quote from memory, states that this argumentum ad hominem drew down great applause from the saint's supporters, and loud cries of "order" from the ministerial side of the house.