[Middle French attaquer, from Old Italian *estaccare to attach, from stacca stake, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English staca
- Date: 1562
- 1 : to set upon or work against forcefully
- 2 : to assail with unfriendly or bitter words
- 3 : to begin to affect or to act on injuriously <plants attacked by aphids>
- 4 : to set to work on <attack a problem>
- 5 : to threaten (a piece in chess) with immediate capture
- Ad hominem
An ad hominem, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "to the man"), is an attempt to persuade which links the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise. The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy. The argumentum ad hominem is not always fallacious, for in some instances questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue.
- Ad hominem abusive
Ad hominem abusive usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions.