Meaning of eristic in English:


Pronunciation /ɛˈrɪstɪk/


  • 1Of or characterized by debate or argument.

    ‘While most of this dialogue is given over to Euthydemus’ and Dionysiodorus' eristic display, there are two Socratic interludes.’
    • ‘In the early history of television, program producers could afford an eristic assumption that they were message purveyors to a receiver-only audience.’
    • ‘According to Schopenhauer Eristic Dialectic is mainly concerned to tabulate and analyse dishonest stratagems, in order that in a real debate they may be at once recognised and defeated.’
    1. 1.1(of an argument or arguer) aiming at winning rather than at reaching the truth.
      ‘In Eric Ambler's prewar thrillers, the interest (in Auden's words) is ‘the ethical and eristic conflict between good and evil, between Us and Them.’’
      • ‘The squaring of the circle by means of lunes is not eristic, but the quadrature of Bryson is eristic.’
      • ‘Eristic dialogue is arguing for the sake of conflict, fighting, and often to see who can yell the loudest.’
      • ‘Hippias infers from the look of Socrates' speeches and deeds that he is an eristic sophist.’


  • 1A person given to debate or argument.

    ‘Moreover, we know by the evidence of Sokrates himself, that he was an Eristic not only by taste, but on principle, and by a sense of duty.’
    • ‘An ancient comic writer has said of him: Eubulides the Eristic, who proposed sophistic dilemmas and confounded the orators with false and pompous arguments, is gone with the vulgar and useless chatter of Demosthenes.’
    1. 1.1mass noun The art or practice of debate or argument.
      ‘Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote a marvelously cynical manual of eristics called The Art of Always Being Right.’
      • ‘In the dialogue Euthydemus, Plato satirizes eristic.’
      • ‘It has now fallen to the level of Eristics, in which the winner of a debate is the one who shouts the loudest and has the best arsenal of insults.’


Mid 17th century from Greek eristikos, from erizein ‘to wrangle’, from eris ‘strife’.