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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

A week earlier, her father, Armando Hernandez, had an argument with the dogs' owner about better fencing for the dogs, Emma's aunt Claudia Stapleton told the news station. David Williams, CNN, "Father of 9-year-old girl mauled to death by pit bulls argued with dogs' owner about fencing last week," 21 Aug. 2019 On Tuesday justices seemed unconvinced by those arguments. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "State Supreme Court may rule this week on St. Paul’s trash ballot question," 20 Aug. 2019 And just like in every fight where there are two sides to every argument, the trailers offer mirror perspectives on the relationship, each narrated by one side of the couple. Ale Russian,, "Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver Navigate a Devastating Divorce in Marriage Story Trailers," 20 Aug. 2019 That's handed the bulls a strong argument that equities, not the super-safe 10-year, are the new refuge. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Bonds Are The Most Expensive They’ve Been in 64 Years. Here’s What That Means for Your Portfolio," 20 Aug. 2019 Sometime between the Supreme Court’s oral argument and when the ruling was issued, they were divorced. Mia Armstrong, Longreads, "In Sickness, In Health — and In Prison," 19 Aug. 2019 An article in The Chronicle on Monday provided details from Wroblewski’s sentencing hearing, including the state’s argument that Wroblewski had been inappropriate with multiple teenage girls at the high school for at least a decade., "Former St. Helens teacher sentenced to prison for sex abuse of teen girl," 19 Aug. 2019 Boone came rushing from the dugout to confront May, and engaged in an animated, extended argument. Ben Walker,, "Boone, Gardner, Yanks hammer umps in 6-5 win over Indians," 17 Aug. 2019 An argument can be made that the celebrity and controversy that surrounds Omar is a distraction from her work and progressive foreign policy goals. Emily Tamkin, The New Republic, "Ilhan Omar Is Already Changing Washington," 16 Aug. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for argument

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for argument

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

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More Definitions for argument



English Language Learners Definition of argument

: a statement or series of statements for or against something
: a discussion in which people express different opinions about something
: an angry disagreement


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

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Comments on argument

What made you want to look up argument? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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