de·​bat·​able di-ˈbā-tə-bəl How to pronounce debatable (audio)
: claimed by more than one country
debatable border territory
: open to dispute : questionable
the debatable wisdom of his advice
: open to debate
: capable of being debated
debatably adverb

Examples of debatable in a Sentence

it's always debatable which college football team is really number one, since there's more than one ranking system the debatable wisdom of going back for another helping from the buffet
Recent Examples on the Web Teslas can be updated via software, of course, but whether that’s enough to satisfy an itch for something new is debatable. Steve Mollman, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2023 Officials often took strong positions on far less significant and more debatable issues. Danielle Shapiro and Yonah Berenson, WSJ, 23 Oct. 2023 Affluent families are also able to drive or fly their children around the country to tour colleges and thereby demonstrate interest in attending — another debatable factor often used in competitive admissions. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, 16 July 2023 Consider Iwo Jima, in which the United States suffered more than 26,000 casualties in just 36 days, incurring some of the highest single-battle losses in Marine Corps history: the victory gave the Americans little more than a landing strip of debatable strategic value. Margaret MacMillan, Foreign Affairs, 12 June 2023 Some people like to say that there’s no such thing as bad pizza, which is a debatable premise. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2023 More debatable is whether Ansary’s evidence sustains his bold thesis. Dan McLaughlin, National Review, 8 Sep. 2023 Though that distinction is highly debatable, there is no denying her popularity in the ’80s. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 Aug. 2023 While the particulars of how generative A.I. will transform the workforce may be debatable, experts and workers alike believe that change is inevitable. Bypaolo Confino, Fortune, 27 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of debatable was in 1536

Dictionary Entries Near debatable

Cite this Entry

“Debatable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​bat·​able di-ˈbāt-ə-bəl How to pronounce debatable (audio)
: open to question or dispute
a debatable decision
debatably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on debatable

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