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 Appellate lawyer Lisa Blatt, a veteran of 39 high court arguments, will represent the company. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Live from remote locations: It's the Supreme Court!," 30 Apr. 2020 Oral arguments are especially dear to some members of the court. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court arguments resume next week, with all the grandeur of working from home," 30 Apr. 2020 The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday from attorneys on both sides of that question, reports’s Jeremy Pelzer. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Are masks required in Ohio or not? Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s rare flip-flop: The Wake Up for Thursday, April 30, 2020," 30 Apr. 2020 That might not end arguments over the British lender’s strategy, though. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Barclays Makes Case for Unloved Universal Banking," 29 Apr. 2020 The reason that group licensing arrangements are not included in the plan is that cutting players in on a percentage of television revenue or rebroadcast rights would constitute pay for play and ruin the NCAA’s legal defense arguments. Los Angeles Times, "Q & A: What the NCAA’s report on name, image and likeness means for college athletes," 29 Apr. 2020 Social media is a breeding ground for half-cocked arguments for and against anything. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Fox 10 anchor Kari Lake doubles down on debunked coronavirus video on Twitter," 29 Apr. 2020 In early April, McGowan slammed Alyssa Milano, a fellow #MeToo activist and former co-star in the television series Charmed, for supporting Biden and using a conservative argument during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "'This is deeper than a cover-up': #MeToo activist slams Democrats and liberal media amid Biden sexual assault allegation," 29 Apr. 2020 Don’t feel too bad, even Tarrant has this argument with his wife. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "No, How to Load the Dishwasher Isn't a Matter of Debate. Here's What You Need to Know," 28 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for argument

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for argument

Last Updated

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Argument.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for argument


How to pronounce argument (audio)

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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