debate

noun
de·​bate | \ di-ˈbāt How to pronounce debate (audio) , dē-\

Definition of debate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a contention by words or arguments Our polite chat about politics became a heated debate. The case sparked a raging public debate on property rights. : such as
a law, government : the formal discussion of a motion (see motion entry 1 sense 3a) before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure
b : a regulated discussion of a proposition (see proposition entry 1 sense 1b) between two matched sides the last presidential debate before the election the debate's moderator

debate

verb
debated; debating

Definition of debate (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 obsolete : fight, contend
2a : to contend in words
b : to discuss a question by considering opposed arguments
3 : to participate in a debate the six primary candidates who debated last night

transitive verb

1a : to argue about the subject was hotly debated
b : to engage (an opponent) in debate a governor debating her challenger
2 : to turn over in one's mind : to think about (something, such as different options) in order to decide still debating what to do

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Other Words from debate

Verb

debatement \ -​ˈbāt-​mənt How to pronounce debatement (audio) \ noun
debater noun

Choose the Right Synonym for debate

Verb

discuss, argue, debate mean to discourse about in order to reach conclusions or to convince. discuss implies a sifting of possibilities especially by presenting considerations pro and con. discussed the need for a new highway argue implies the offering of reasons or evidence in support of convictions already held. argued that the project would be too costly debate suggests formal or public argument between opposing parties debated the merits of the amendment ; it may also apply to deliberation with oneself. I'm debating whether I should go

Examples of debate in a Sentence

Noun

The candidates participated in several debates before the election was held. The meaning of the text has been the subject of considerable debate among scholars for many years.

Verb

Scholars have been debating the meaning of the text for years. Whether or not the tax cuts benefit the lower classes is still hotly debated among economists. The energy bill is currently being debated in Congress. The President debated his challenger in front of a live audience on Tuesday. The students debated for an hour.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Spirit’s work with OFOC highlights how the future of Brexit is still somewhat uncertain, even after years of debate following the vote. Rachel Janfaza, Teen Vogue, "With Brexit Looming, Young Activists Are Still Fighting to Stay in the European Union," 13 Mar. 2019 The debate is over whether the controls are strong enough. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "AP fact check: Trump isn’t holed up nonstop at White House," 14 Jan. 2019 Here, experts get to the bottom of the debate around apple cider vinegar and weight loss and health. 1. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "10 Apple Cider Vinegar Facts to Know Before You Drink It," 1 Jan. 2019 The debate is understandable, given the incredible array of factors that have to be not just considered, but quantified. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The economic impacts of climate change could limit climate change," 19 Dec. 2018 Of course, the debate around iPhone repairability is much more complex than that of Macs. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Apple confirms its T2 security chip blocks some third-party repairs of new Macs," 12 Nov. 2018 But Trump may stand on sturdier political footing in the next stage of debate over how to deal with families accused of crossing the border illegally, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released last week. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "The public rejected Trump’s child-separation policy, but a majority supports his push to detain families until court hearings," 13 July 2018 There is also a debate about how the sale will proceed, people close to the matter said. Joe Flint, WSJ, "Chicago Cubs, Sinclair Create New Cable Channel to Carry Games," 13 Feb. 2019 That said, there is an interesting debate around whether uncircumcised or circumcised penises happen to be more sensitive. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "11 Things Everyone Should Know About Uncircumcised Penises," 29 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fans quickly called out coach Adam Levine's outfit, with some feeling his bright attire while others debated his fashion risk. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Coach Adam Levine Divided Fans With His Bold Battle Rounds Outfit," 31 Mar. 2019 Even as Venezuela’s political stalemate drags on, the country’s options for the potential restructuring of more than $175 billion in foreign debt are coming into focus as lawyers, academics and government officials debate the proper approach. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Venezuela Restructuring Options Emerge Among Creditors, Officials," 29 Mar. 2019 Bird Box is being hailed a major movie moment for Netflix (even as film industry insiders debate the significance of the company’s selectively released ratings data). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The Hype Over Netflix’s Bird Box, Explained," 2 Jan. 2019 Tusk delivered the ultimatum as the United Kingdom debates the Brexit deal ahead of a vote in the UK Parliament next week. Jen Kirby, Vox, "EU to UK: take the Brexit deal or else," 30 Nov. 2018 The announcement came just as U.S. lawmakers were debating whether to write a national consumer privacy law, with witnesses testifying from companies such as Apple, Google and Twitter. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Brett Kavanaugh meets his accuser on the Senate stand today," 27 Sep. 2018 The Julian department, which has been financially challenged for years, has long been debating whether to join the county or remain independent. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Plans to dissolve volunteer fire department in Julian draws a protest," 1 June 2018 Many civil libertarians thought so when hate-crime laws were being debated, though not all were able to maintain the courage of their convictions. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Are Hate-Crime Laws Helping?," 22 Feb. 2019 The success of the halftime show is often fervently debated. Megan Stein, Country Living, "How Many Super Bowls Has Tom Brady Won?," 3 Feb. 2019

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for debate

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French debatre, from de- + batre to beat, from Latin battuere

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Statistics for debate

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for debate

The first known use of debate was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for debate

debate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of debate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something

debate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of debate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to discuss (something) with people whose opinions are different from your own
: to compete against (someone) in a debate : to argue against another person's opinions as part of an organized event
: to think about (something) in order to decide what to do

debate

noun
de·​bate | \ di-ˈbāt How to pronounce debate (audio) \

Kids Definition of debate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a discussion or argument carried on between two teams or sides
2 : a discussion of issues We had a debate over where to go on vacation.

debate

verb
debated; debating

Kids Definition of debate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to discuss a question by giving arguments on both sides : take part in a debate
2 : to consider reasons for and against : give serious and careful thought to Mrs. Welsch seemed to be debating whether to say what she finally did.— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

Other Words from debate

debater noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on debate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with debate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for debate

Spanish Central: Translation of debate

Nglish: Translation of debate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of debate for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about debate

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