de·​bat·​able | \di-ˈbā-tə-bəl, dē-\

Definition of debatable 

1 : claimed by more than one country debatable border territory

2a : open to dispute : questionable the debatable wisdom of his advice

b : open to debate

3 : capable of being debated

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Other Words from debatable

debatably \-​blē \ 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

As such, details may sometimes be debatable, but, usually, if the narrative sticks around, something about the gist of it is right. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Are Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Really Feuding?," 3 Dec. 2018 While the flaws open corporate networks to some scary attacks, the real-world likelihood of them being exploited is debatable. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bluetooth bugs bite millions of Wi-Fi APs from Cisco, Meraki, and Aruba," 1 Nov. 2018 This decision is especially troubling because Millhiser’s substantive argument is at the very worst debatable, and at best a valuable contribution to public discourse that cuts through the kabuki theater of a Supreme Court nomination. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Facebook blocked the spread of a liberal article because a conservative told it to," 12 Sep. 2018 None of those mistakes and debatable decisions was individually decisive. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Grandal’s woes, quiet LA bats doom Dodgers in NLCS Game 3," 15 Oct. 2018 If Judge Kavanaugh clears the Judiciary Committee on Friday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) could keep the Senate in session over the weekend and make a non-debatable motion to call for a procedural vote. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Senators Weigh Kavanaugh’s Fate After Emotional Hearing," 27 Sep. 2018 But using zinc for acne, often a subject of debate on skin-care blogs, is a somewhat debatable acne treatment even among dermatologists. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Does Zinc for Acne Really Work? Dermatologists Weigh In," 18 Sep. 2018 Some of what makes this debatable is how one defines what makes a metropolis great for sports or not. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Flip the narrative on Miami as a sports town. Here's why we're great and getting better," 25 June 2018 Unlike tracking and accountability, incentives are a debatable strategy. David G. Allan, CNN, "Start a new (good) habit, kill an old (bad) one," 19 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'debatable.' 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 debatable

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for debatable

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for debatable

The first known use of debatable was in 1536

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More Definitions for debatable



English Language Learners Definition of debatable

—used to say that something may or may not be true or real


de·​bat·​able | \di-ˈbā-tə-bəl \

Kids Definition of debatable

: possible to question or argue about The wisdom of his advice is debatable.

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Comments on debatable

What made you want to look up debatable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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