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 In reflection, the argument over whether football was taken away from Kaepernick seems obvious. Michael Lerseth,, "Colin Kaepernick on his time with the 49ers: ‘I stood up for what is right’," 10 Oct. 2020 Faulconer suspended the payments Sept. 1 — two weeks after a San Diego resident, John Gordon, sued the city under the same legal argument the city is now putting forward. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego city officials file suit over Ash Street property," 9 Oct. 2020 As the argument escalated, the woman said that her boyfriend pulled her hair, pushed her, spit on her and broke the windshield of her car. cleveland, "Road rage leads man, at traffic light, to throw can of Red Bull at woman’s face: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 9 Oct. 2020 There is an entire world of difference between advocating for funding a moon landing at a gathering of space enthusiasts and making the same argument in front of a crowd of deep sea divers. Sandra Gutierrez G., Popular Science, "These public speaking techniques can help you look smart on video calls," 6 Oct. 2020 He is expected to continue making that argument on the debate stage. Tarini Parti And Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, "Pence, Harris Gear Up for V.P. Debate After Trump’s Positive Covid-19 Test," 5 Oct. 2020 Trump again rambled, nevertheless making a semi-coherent argument about how lockdowns have all sorts of deleterious effects on the economy and people’s lives. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "Biden Owes the Country More," 30 Sep. 2020 The White House has pushed for swift confirmation of Barrett before Election Day, circulating a memo to supporters late Friday with details of past confirmations and making the argument there is plenty of time to put her on the court before Nov. 3. Jordan Fabian,, "Amy Coney Barrett Picked by Trump to Push Court to Right," 26 Sep. 2020 Some Wall Street analysts are making the argument that 2020's unrelenting rally in tech has propelled shares to unsustainable heights, with the Nasdaq still up 70% from March even after last week's retreat. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Tech tanks again: Tesla dives after S&P 500 rebuff," 8 Sep. 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

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Argument.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 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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