ar·​gu·​ment | \ ˈär-gyə-mənt How to pronounce argument (audio) \

Definition of argument

1a : the act or process of arguing, reasoning, or discussing : argumentation
b : a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a point of view a defense attorney's closing argument
c : an angry quarrel or disagreement having an argument over/about money trying to settle an argument
2a : a reason given for or against a matter under discussion They presented their arguments in favor of the proposal.
b : a form of rhetorical expression intended to convince or persuade
3 : an abstract (see abstract entry 2 sense 1) or summary especially of a literary work
4 : the subject matter especially of a literary work
5a mathematics : one of the independent variables upon whose value that of a function depends
b grammar : a substantive (such as the direct object of a transitive verb) that is required by a predicate in grammar
c mathematics : amplitude sense 4
6 obsolete : an outward sign : indication

Examples of argument in a Sentence

They made a compelling argument for our participation. The committee presented strong arguments against building a new school. a lawyer's closing argument at the trial His argument did not convince his opponents. Let us accept, for the sake of argument, that she is right. Don't you want to hear both sides of the argument? They were always getting into arguments about politics. There were many arguments about the new design. They settled an argument that started in class. I don't want to hear any arguments about whether you'll go. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Assistant United States Attorney Angie Danis made the case in closing argument for the prosecution that Norman initiated the murder plot in hopes of a payout. Erin Heffernan St. Louis Post-dispatch (tns), al, 16 Sep. 2022 The genteel lady in the large hats, the primary colors and the sensible shoes who made such a full-throated argument for endurance is no longer drowning out the voices of those who cry out, not even for restitution, but simply for apology. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2022 Watch the full Behind the Look episode for a brief history lesson on ballet flats, and see how Tory’s designs have continued to make the argument for the shoe's longevity. Taylor Lashley, Vogue, 10 Sep. 2022 Iger's remarks quickly caught the attention Elon Musk, who has made the prevalence of spam accounts a central argument for why he should be allowed to back out of an agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Brian Fung, CNN, 8 Sep. 2022 There’s a better argument for the Buckeyes as a national title contender now than there was before. Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2022 In the course of rebutting such questions, the Fetterman campaign has perhaps inadvertently made the best argument for his full participation. James Freeman, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2022 At least that’s the primary argument for those ruinous trolls apparently review bombing and harassing fans of color over Amazon’s Rings of Powers series. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Sep. 2022 Harper thinks there’s an argument for both sides: whether to leave the world and enter Pasaje, or to embrace real life. Selome Hailu, Variety, 1 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'argument.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of argument

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

History and Etymology for argument

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin argumentum, from arguere — see argue

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The first known use of argument was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Argument.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for argument


ar·​gu·​ment | \ ˈär-gyə-mənt How to pronounce argument (audio) \

Kids Definition of argument

1 : an angry disagreement : quarrel
2 : a reason for or against something There's a strong argument for changing the law.
3 : a discussion in which reasons for and against something are given Let's hear both sides of the argument.



Legal Definition of argument

1 : a reason or the reasoning given for or against a matter under discussion — compare evidence, proof
2 : the act or process of arguing, reasoning, or discussing especially : oral argument

More from Merriam-Webster on argument

Nglish: Translation of argument for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of argument for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about argument


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