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

Knight focused his arguments on questioning the evidence. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "Judge orders man charged in killing of D.C. dog walker to be held in jail," 16 Sep. 2019 But Myles Garrett will still have an opportunity to prove his argument that Williams limited him to two pass-rush moves his first two seasons, thereby preventing him from reaching some of his goals, including NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Mary Kay Cabot,, "Baker Mayfield will try to rebound against provoked Jets’ coordinator Gregg Williams," 16 Sep. 2019 Read this book for the vivid panorama, not for the logic of its argument. The Economist, "Nicholas Lemann traces the history of American corporations," 14 Sep. 2019 These factors, however, don’t change the fact that Castro was right on the substance of his argument with Biden. Gilbert Garcia,, "Castro’s snark attack divides the Democratic base," 14 Sep. 2019 Trump took notice of the negative rates overseas to buttress his argument that the Federal Reserve should further lower U.S. interest rates to boost the U.S. economy and keep America competitive in trade. James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times, "Negative interest rates are real, but don’t expect to get paid to borrow money," 13 Sep. 2019 Instead of college, their argument often goes, young Americans should pursue a career in the skilled trades. Paul Tough, The Atlantic, "The Myth of the Wealthy Welder," 13 Sep. 2019 While experts say that Mr. Walubara has a long road ahead before Australia would recognize his claims to sovereignty, his argument has caught the attention of the public and the national news media. New York Times, "The Indigenous Man Who Declared His Own Country," 13 Sep. 2019 Chief among them was the White House’s worries about the impact an economic downturn could have on a president who has made a strong economy his central argument for a second term. Jonathan Lemire, Fortune, "Trump Uses North Carolina Campaign Rally to Slam ‘American-Hating Left’," 10 Sep. 2019

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

21 Sep 2019

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 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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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