ar·​gu·​men·​ta·​tive ˌär-gyə-ˈmen-tə-tiv How to pronounce argumentative (audio)
variants or less commonly argumentive
: given to argument : tending to argue : having or showing a tendency to disagree or argue with other people in an angry way : disputatious
He became argumentative when confronted with the allegation.
an argumentative temperament
… had been a pigheaded, argumentative, irascible, and unlikable man …Colleen McCullough
: consisting of or characterized by argument
argumentative discourse
aired their opinions in an argumentative way
argumentatively adverb

Examples of argumentative in a Sentence

He became more argumentative during the debate. he's too argumentative to be part of a project in which teamwork is critical
Recent Examples on the Web Italians can be very argumentative in the morning without coffee. Jackie Cooperman, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2023 An arriving officer located the intoxicated and argumentative Parma Heights resident in question, who was arrested for disorderly conduct. John Benson, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2023 Henry had tired of his bold, argumentative wife, who, like Catherine, had been unable to bear a male child. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 June 2023 Teacher Mary Wood had planned to teach her class the book as part of the class’s preparation for the argumentative essay portion of the A.P. test. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 13 June 2023 But even those hard-punching, argumentative dramas don't completely prepare a reader for the high-bandwidth ferocity of Akhtar's book about the unease of being a brown Muslim in the United States and about the destabilizing effect of unfettered greed on this country. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2020 Preeminent among the rights in peril, critics say, is the freedom to protest — a sacrosanct in a notoriously argumentative country, kept intact even during harsh covid lockdowns two years ago, when courts ruled in favor of demonstrators who, during Netanyahu’s previous rule, called for his ouster. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2023 Leos can be feisty and argumentative. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2022 Doesn’t have to be argumentative. Fox News, 12 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'argumentative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see argue

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of argumentative was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near argumentative

Cite this Entry

“Argumentative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


ar·​gu·​men·​ta·​tive ˌär-gyə-ˈment-ət-iv How to pronounce argumentative (audio)
: marked by or given to argument : quarrelsome
argumentatively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on argumentative

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