Definition of philippic in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They have also launched countless philippics against Labour's love of the target and the quota, and all manner of diktat from Whitehall.’


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.