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

Yet the global structure of soccer also hinges on individual star power and the argument over who is the best player on the planet is one that has attracted heated debate for the past decade. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "After World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may lose best player tags," 13 July 2018 More recent research has cast doubt on the argument. David Scharfenberg,, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 The argument occurred on concourse B near Gate B6, police said. Campbell Lutz, ajc, "NFL veteran ‘Pacman’ Jones assaulted at Atlanta airport, police say," 12 July 2018 Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination turns the counterargument into the central argument and redefines the mission of the Court. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh and the new judicial activism," 12 July 2018 Engage 18, which had the assistance of a local lawyer, backed the district arguments that their schools should be able to have policies barring the possession of guns on campuses. Lori Higgins And Janea Wilson, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan student activists take on voter registration, gun violence," 12 July 2018 Hedge funds are designed to mitigate risk, the argument goes, and so investors in them might sacrifice some gains as markets rise while waiting for hedge funds to prove themselves in more challenging times. James B. Stewart, New York Times, "Hedge Funds Should Be Thriving Right Now. They Aren’t.," 12 July 2018 At least, that’s the argument made by Stefan Szymanski, a professor of sports economics at the University of Michigan. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Why Do Americans Call It Soccer Instead of Football? Blame England," 11 July 2018 When Champion called Durant insecure, Durant continued the argument. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Kevin Durant got into the pettiest Instagram argument with a teenager," 11 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

19 Oct 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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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 state of commotion or excitement

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