What Is Another Way to Say “Ad Hominem”?

Looking for synonyms for ad hominem? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say ad hominem.

  • Personal attack
  • Character assassination
  • Personal criticism
  • Against the person
  • Name-calling
  • Personal insult
  • Mud-slinging
  • Character attack
  • Poisoning the well
  • Personal vilification
  • Attack on the individual
  • Slanderous attack
  • Derogatory remark
  • Personal disparagement
  • Smear campaign

Want to learn how to say ad hominem professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Personal Attack

When to use: When criticism is directed at a person’s character rather than their arguments or ideas.
Example: “The debate devolved when one side resorted to personal attacks instead of addressing the issue.”

2. Character Assassination

When to use: Deliberate effort to tarnish a person’s reputation through dubious claims.
Example: “The political campaign was marked by character assassination, distracting from the real issues.”

3. Personal Criticism

When to use: Critique aimed at an individual’s character or personal traits rather than their professional capabilities or ideas.
Example: “The manager’s feedback crossed into personal criticism, affecting the employee’s morale.”

4. Against the Person

When to use: Arguments that target a person’s character, motives, or other personal attributes rather than the argument they are making.
Example: “His rebuttal was less about the proposal and more an argument against the person presenting it.”

5. Name-Calling

When to use: Using derogatory or offensive labels instead of engaging with someone’s arguments or ideas.
Example: “The negotiation broke down into name-calling, undermining the process.”

6. Personal Insult

When to use: Directly insulting an individual, often irrelevant to the discussion or argument at hand.
Example: “The article included a personal insult that detracted from its overall argument.”

7. Mud-Slinging

When to use: The practice of making unverified, scandalous claims about a person to damage their reputation.
Example: “The election was characterized by mud-slinging from all sides.”

8. Character Attack

When to use: Targeting a person’s character or reputation as a way to discredit their argument or stance.
Example: “The critique quickly turned into a character attack, sidestepping the policy’s merits.”

9. Poisoning the Well

When to use: Presenting negative information about a person before they have a chance to present their case, to discredit them in advance.
Example: “By questioning his motives before he spoke, they were poisoning the well.”

10. Personal Vilification

When to use: Harsh and abusive criticism directed at a person, often intended to harm their reputation.
Example: “The debate included personal vilification that was irrelevant to the candidate’s policy positions.”

11. Attack on the Individual

When to use: Directing criticism or hostility towards a person rather than their ideas or actions.
Example: “The critique was less an evaluation of the project and more an attack on the individual behind it.”

12. Slanderous Attack

When to use: Making false and damaging statements about someone to damage their reputation.
Example: “The accusations turned out to be a slanderous attack, lacking any factual basis.”

13. Derogatory Remark

When to use: A disrespectful or demeaning comment aimed at discrediting an individual.
Example: “The discussion was constructive until a derogatory remark shifted the tone.”

14. Personal Disparagement

When to use: Expressing a low opinion of a person’s worth or value, often irrelevantly to their argument or position.
Example: “His response was filled with personal disparagement, contributing nothing to the debate.”

15. Smear Campaign

When to use: An organized effort to discredit a person by spreading false or exaggerated accusations.
Example: “She became the target of a smear campaign that sought to undermine her credibility.”

Linda Brown