ar·gu·ment | \ ˈär-gyə-mənt \

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

The court is required to rule within 90 days of oral arguments, which would make its deadline late August. David Garrick,, "If state Supreme Court rules against San Diego on pensions, it could could cost city millions," 14 July 2018 Clerks help the judge to prepare for argument, analyze cases and write opinions. Amy Chua, WSJ, "Kavanaugh Is a Mentor To Women," 12 July 2018 That starts with the dubiousness of Mr Dershowitz’s argument, which rest on two points. The Economist, "The case against impeachment," 12 July 2018 The Court of Appeals decided Thursday to hear the state’s argument that Syed’s original defense did not violate the Constitution’s guarantee to an effective counsel. Talia Richman,, "Maryland's highest court to weigh in on Syed case," 12 July 2018 Ho appeared skeptical of Hicks' arguments, questioning whether the law could be challenged because fear of guns might squelch free speech at a public park. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Appeals court hears UT professors' challenge to Texas campus carry law," 11 July 2018 Ho appeared skeptical of Hicks’ arguments, questioning whether the law could be challenged because fear of guns might squelch free speech at a public park. Washington Post, "Appeals court hears challenge to Texas campus carry law," 11 July 2018 An argument escalated into a shooting in the Mount Houston area Wednesday morning, leaving one man injured, according to Metro Video. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Man shot during argument in Mount Houston area," 11 July 2018 There are good arguments for altering the U.S.’s trade agreements, but Trump’s tariffs, which have fed an embryonic trade war, were reckless and harmful. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump’s Big Trade War Bluff," 5 July 2018

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

21 Sep 2018

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 \

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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