de·​bat·​able | \ di-ˈbā-tə-bəl How to pronounce debatable (audio) , 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 \ di-​ˈbā-​tə-​blē How to pronounce debatably (audio) , dē-​ \ 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

Certain readers will hunger as well for sharper and more debatable insights about range management and the West. Nathan Deuel,, "True grit in the modern American West: 'The Last Cowboys' by John Branch," 10 May 2018 More debatable is the degree to which extinctions are genuinely catastrophic. Jennifer Kahn, New York Times, "Should Some Species Be Allowed to Die Out?," 13 Mar. 2018 Whether or not a longer border wall would reduce the flow of illicit drugs into the U.S. is also debatable. Kate Linthicum,, "Trump's angry tweets about Mexico? More fiction than fact," 2 Apr. 2018 While that might be debatable, MacKenzie's historic reticence coupled with the scale of their divorce, makes her a fascinating figure. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Who Will Get the First MacKenzie Bezos Interview?," 10 Jan. 2019 But who should use drugs called bisphosphonates is debatable. Marilynn Marchione, The Seattle Times, "Study suggests more older women may benefit from bone drugs," 1 Oct. 2018 Teams’ uncertain legal authority to require that players stand for the anthem The ability of NFL teams to punish players for not standing during the national anthem is also debatable. Michael Mccann,, "Can the NFL or Its Teams Legally Require Players to Stand for the Anthem? NFLPA Doesn't Think So," 8 May 2018 And whether those cars are actually any more fun is debatable. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The McLaren 570S Spider Is Your Just-Won-the-Lottery Car," 12 Dec. 2018 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

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

6 May 2019

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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 How to pronounce debatable (audio) \

Kids Definition of debatable

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

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Comments on debatable

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