A diatribe is a forceful and bitter verbal or written attack against someone or something. It is usually an angry or critical speech, a long and harsh written or spoken expression of disapproval, or a vehement verbal denunciation.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Tirade, Harangue, Invective, Jeremiad, Rant, Denunciation, Rebuke, Criticism, Abuse, Censure, Vituperation.


Praise, Acclamation, Approbation, Commendation, Eulogy, Flattery, Laudation.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun diatribe, diatribes
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The boss went on a diatribe about the quality of work done by the team.

  • The editor launched a diatribe against the biased media coverage of the election campaign.

  • His diatribe against the opposition party was so vicious that it drew criticism from his own supporters.

  • The politician launched into a fiery diatribe against his opponents during the debate.


The word diatribe comes from the Greek word diatribē which means “to waste time,” or “to rub away.” It has a negative connotation and is used to describe a harsh and bitter verbal or written attack against someone or something. A diatribe is usually marked by an angry or critical tone and a scathing criticism of a particular issue or individual.

The use of diatribe can be seen in various contexts such as politics, social issues, workplace, and personal relationships. In politics, a diatribe is often used by politicians to criticize their opponents and discredit their policies. It is also used in social commentary to voice strong opinions about various issues such as race, gender, and inequality. In a workplace, a diatribe can be used by an employer to reprimand an employee or by an employee to criticize the work environment. In personal relationships, a diatribe can be used to vent out anger and frustration against a partner or family member.

The word diatribe can be used with different prefixes or suffixes to change its meaning. For example, the prefix “anti-” added to the beginning of the word changes the meaning to “a speech against a particular person, group or idea.” The suffix “-ic” can be added to the word to form the adjective “diatribic” which means “having the characteristics of a diatribe.” The use of diatribe should be avoided in formal writing, and it is often considered unprofessional in a business setting.