Definition of philippic in English:


See synonyms for philippic


  • A bitter attack or denunciation, especially a verbal one.

    ‘the lecture was a tremendous philippic against our culture’
    • ‘I wonder if the new editor of the Daily Telegraph has any Irish blood and will tone down the paper's anti-euro, anti-EU philippics.’
    • ‘They have also launched countless philippics against Labour's love of the target and the quota, and all manner of diktat from Whitehall.’
    • ‘The other part of her book which has impressed me is her philippic on Europe and her call for Britain to begin the process of withdrawal from the European Union.’
    • ‘The smallest concession to a different view must now be scotched by this master of the pulpit philippic and the courtroom defence.’
    • ‘My Dad wanted me to read The Divine Comedy but my Mom gave him a philippic for even suggesting it.’
    tirade, diatribe, invective, denunciation, rant, polemic, broadside, harangue, verbal onslaught, reviling, railing, decrying, condemnation, brickbat, brickbats, flak, criticism, attack, censure, lecture, berating, admonishment, admonition, reprimand, rebuke, abuse, stream of abuse, battering, stricture, tongue-lashing
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/fəˈlipik/ /fəˈlɪpɪk/


Late 16th century via Latin from Greek philippikos, the name given to Demosthenes' speeches against Philip II of Macedon, also to those of Cicero against Mark Antony.