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Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ˌdaɪəˈlɛktɪk/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛktɪk

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French dialectique, from Late Latin dialectica, from Ancient Greek διαλεκτική (dialektikḗ, the art of argument through interactive questioning and answering), from διαλεκτικός (dialektikós, relating to dialogue), from διαλέγομαι (dialégomai, to participate in a dialogue), from διά (diá, through, across) + λέγειν (légein, to speak).


dialectic (countable and uncountable, plural dialectics)

  1. Any formal system of reasoning that arrives at a truth by the exchange of logical arguments.
  2. A contradiction of ideas that serves as the determining factor in their interaction.
    This situation created the inner dialectic of American history.
  3. (Marxism) Progression of conflict, especially class conflict.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin dialecticus, from Ancient Greek δῐᾰλεκτῐκός (dialektikós).[1]


dialectic (comparative more dialectic, superlative most dialectic)

  1. Dialectical.

Etymology 3[edit]

From dialect +‎ -ic.[1]


dialectic (comparative more dialectic, superlative most dialectic)

  1. Dialectal.
    • 1813, W[illiam] Taylor, Jun[ior] of Norwich, English Synonyms Discriminated, London: W. Pople, page 51:
      Is it [prodezza] a mere dialectic variation of prudenza, []?
    • 1828, Richard Whately, Elements of Rhetoric. Comprising the Substance of the Article in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana: with Additions, &c., 2nd edition, Oxford: W. Baxter, for John Murray, London; and J. Parker, Oxford, page 351:
      [] if any one has, in common discourse, an indistinct, hesitating, dialectic, or otherwise faulty, delivery, his Natural manner certainly is not what he should adopt in public speaking; []
    • 1850 January, Henry [Whitelock] Torrens, “Some conjectures on the progress of the Bráhminical Conquerors of India”, in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, volume XIX, number XXXVII, Calcutta: J. Thomas, Baptist Mission Press, published 1851, page 13:
      But our able Secretary, Mr. Laidlay, has referred me to another alphabet, dialectic of the Hebrew, as set forth in the interpretation of the bilingual inscription of Thongga (Journal Asiatique, Fevrier, 1843) to which be conceives the characters of this brief specimen may be considered more properly to belong.
    • 1863, Daniel Wilson, Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, 2nd edition, volume II, London, Cambridge: Macmillan and Co., page 185:
      [] we have a theory sufficiently consistent with the remote philological relations traceable between Cymri and Gael, and with the close dialectic affinities between Celtic Scotland and Ireland.


  1. 1.0 1.1 James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928), “Dialectic”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume III (D–E), London: Clarendon Press, →OCLC, page 310, column 2.

Further reading[edit]

  • "dialectic" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 106.




Borrowed from French dialectique, from Latin dialecticus.


dialectic m or n (feminine singular dialectică, masculine plural dialectici, feminine and neuter plural dialectice)

  1. dialectical