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 Legal scholars come down on both sides of the question, but the argument against it is substantial. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, "The rising interest in a wealth tax," 2 Apr. 2021 The Armani argument is essentially that when everything has gone mad, safe but top-notch design can be revolutionary—and empower a woman to do revolutionary things like, say, take down the British monarchy. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, "Giorgio Armani on Fashion's Future—And Why He's Not Slowing Down," 31 Mar. 2021 An argument for being sellers is less straightforward and probably confusing to some. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Buy, sell, or stand pat? Which option makes the most sense for the Utah Jazz at the NBA trade deadline?," 23 Mar. 2021 The argument of the book is that a mother’s sacrifice can change the world., "A half-decade later, a chapter of ‘Harry Potter and the Sacred Text’ ends," 21 Mar. 2021 But the argument shouldn't really be about that, but about who gets to decide? Arkansas Online, "Walking the plank," 20 Mar. 2021 All those ideas for expanding Obamacare will produce lively debates — but the argument will be about how much to spend on the program, not whether to scrap it altogether. Los Angeles Times, "Column: They may not admit it, but Republicans have accepted that Obamacare is here to stay," 17 Mar. 2021 However, Biden’s argument was never that the potential tax liability prevented student loan cancellation by executive order. Zack Friedman, Forbes, "Congress May Cancel Student Loans More Than Once," 17 Mar. 2021 The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has not yet said whether the argument that led to the fatal shootings was over a stimulus check. Washington Post, "A dispute over splitting a $1,400 stimulus check led to a man shooting four people, family says," 16 Mar. 2021

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Argument.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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

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