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 magazine talked about music, and hobbies, and everything not having to do with politics alongside discussions of economic policy and arguments over defense budgets. Jane Coaston, Vox, "What the Weekly Standard meant to conservatism," 14 Dec. 2018 When Darlene went over to Ben's place for their first date, the duo got into a big argument over everything from wine to cooking. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The Conners' Fans Are Going Berserk Over Darlene's Red-Hot Fling With Her Boss," 5 Dec. 2018 Laptop Getting into a discussion about which laptop is best is liable to be as bloody as the argument over cameras. Brent Rose, The Verge, "How to build a camera kit for adventure photography," 20 Nov. 2018 The companies’ new legal arguments over the Sea-Tac data go heavy on the potential damage that could result from releasing it. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Uber and Lyft drop data fight with Seattle, and start another over Sea-Tac Airport data," 13 Nov. 2018 In the book, a happily married couple was having a fight, and in the middle of the argument, the wife playfully put her hands on her hips and stuck her out tongue to mimic their child, causing them both to pause and laugh. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "I Tested ‘Love Languages’ and 3 Other Relationship Books on My Marriage," 7 Oct. 2018 An Indiana man is facing charges after pistol-whipping his lifelong friend during an argument over a Bruno Mars song, police said. Fox News, "Man accused of pistol-whipping longtime friend over Bruno Mars song," 25 Sep. 2018 Things kicked off in early August when the show depicted Kourtney and Kim having a colossal argument over their family's Christmas card photo shoot (very serious stuff), and it's escalated since then. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Is Anyone Else Buying Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney's Fights This Season on KUWTK?," 28 Aug. 2018 The makeup design and chase scenes are rote, and the little dramatic conflict — arguments over where to hide — traffic in the oldest clichés in the genre. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 12 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

12 Jan 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 \

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

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