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  • Noun

diatribe

DAHY-uh-trahyb

Context
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Geraldine believed that it was her civic duty to protest the new construction, so she wrote a diatribe in her long and angry letter to the editor of the local paper. Her strong disapproval of the land development caught everyone’s attention—such a fierce diatribe and written criticism surprised even the editor himself. Geraldine’s furious letter of protest or diatribe against excessive development influenced many other locals in the area, who filed complaints as well.

Quiz: What is a diatribe?

  • A speech or piece of writing that attacks an idea or activity.
  • A complaint or use of words that is angry but makes no sense at all.
  • A letter to an editor that examines an important local issue.

Memory Hook
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Dial a Tribe If you don't like a particular tribe, you could dial that tribe and speak a diatribe against it, all from the convenience of your own home!

Examples
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  • [End of diatribe. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...] — Larry Wall Larry wall
  • Rather than bothering to even thank his mother, Moore launched into an anti-war diatribe that started by asserting that President Bush was an illegitimate president and ended by saying the entire battle in Iraq is phony. —Newsweek
  • Standing in for the ailing pope during Easter ceremonies, he launched a diatribe against the 'filth and arrogance' he said had infiltrated the Church today. —The Christian Science Monitor
  • Snyder’s diatribe Wednesday, when he threw the word 'ass' around more than a mule salesman in the gold rush and all but dared Missouri to fire him, was the highlight of two days of Big 12 news conferences in Dallas. —BNET

Word Ingredients
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dia- thoroughly
trib rub, thresh, pound
e used for spelling and pronunciation

To level a diatribe against another person is to “thoroughly rub or pound” him or her with angry words, trying to drive home the point that you are quite displeased.

Word Theater
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Howard Stern on The Late Show with David Letterman Howard Stern delivers a diatribe.
Diatribe

Word Constellation
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Diatribe