"Diatribe, based on the Greek noun διατριβή, . . . is a modern literary term describing an informal rhetorical mode of argumentation principally characterized by a lively dialogical style including the use of imaginary discussion partners (often abruptly addressed), to whom are attributed hypothetical objections and false conclusions."
David E. Aune, The Westminster dictionary of New Testament and early Christian literature and rhetoric (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), s.v. Diatribe, p.127 (pp. 127-129).