Pronounced: you-LIJ-uh-nuss, adj
Notes: This word looks like it is related to “ugly” (but it does not)
The phrase ad hominem means “that which appeals to one’s prejudices or emotions rather than to one’s intellect or reason”
The definition above came into English in the late 1500s (see comments below).
Background / Comments
The data I took our phrase from only gives one definition, and it wasn’t the one I thought. I thought the word meant to make a personal attack instead of addressing the issue at hand. It turns out that this definition is also correct, but is later (came into usage in the late 1700s). So I wasn’t really mistaken; I just wasn’t aware of the original definition. Our phrase comes from Latin and literally means “to the man” or “to the person”; that is, to the passions or prejudices or interests of the person.