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

Keep scrolling for more

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 So if the efficacy of price controls is debatable, what are some better ways to address the mask shortage? Mary Hui, Quartz, "The scramble for masks amid the coronavirus outbreak is a crash course in Econ 101," 3 Feb. 2020 Whether a future this different can be engineered is debatable. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "Privacy Policy," 27 Jan. 2020 Goodell’s debatable decision to not punish Hill for his threatening remark As explained above, Goodell had several reasons to decline to punish Hill for injuries sustained by Hill’s son. Michael Mccann,, "Making Sense of the NFL’s Controversial Decision to Not Suspend Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill," 19 July 2019 Whether this makes any difference on game is debatable. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "Best Calibers For Africa Plains Game," 13 Jan. 2020 Amazon India claims the programme has benefited 800,000 weavers, even if that number is debatable given the hardships artisans face. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Is Amazon India’s dedicated handloom storefront helping artisans?," 8 Jan. 2020 But even if shoppers do party like its 1999 — and that’s still debatable — retailers may not escape a New Year hangover. Washington Post, "Boris Bounce Won’t Save Christmas for British Retailers," 16 Dec. 2019 The bar for impeachment in America is vague and debatable. The Economist, "How impeachment works outside America," 16 Dec. 2019 What’s not debatable, though, is how well Zaidi did with the rest of his day. Jon Tayler,, "MLB Trade Deadline Winners and Losers: What Happened to the Yankees and Dodgers?," 31 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of debatable

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about debatable

Time Traveler for debatable

Time Traveler

The first known use of debatable was in 1536

See more words from the same year

Statistics for debatable

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Debatable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for debatable


How to pronounce debatable (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!