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 : 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
b 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

debate

verb
debated; debating

Definition of debate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

intransitive verb

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

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Other Words from debate

Verb

debatement \ di-​ˈbāt-​mənt How to pronounce debatement (audio) , dē-​ \ 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 Biden and Sanders will both appear on stage Tuesday for the seventh Democratic presidential debate, alongside four other candidates. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "John Kerry says Bernie Sanders is "distorting" Joe Biden's record on Iraq War," 12 Jan. 2020 Tuesday's Trump rally is planned on the same night as the airing of the next Democratic debate. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UWM doesn't own or book Panther Arena, but Trump's rally there sparking campus controversy," 10 Jan. 2020 At the June 26 Democratic presidential debate, candidates spent a full round of questions addressing how their presidency would circumvent obstructionist Senate Republicans. Brian Riedl, National Review, "Senate Republicans Are Not ‘Obstructionist’," 9 Jan. 2020 The Monmouth survey is one of the qualifying polls used by the Democratic National Committee to determine which candidates make the stage at next week's presidential primary debate in Iowa. Fox News, "Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders battle for lead in latest New Hampshire poll," 9 Jan. 2020 Bloomberg has yet to qualify for any of the Democratic presidential debates. TheWeek, "Michael Bloomberg is buying a $10 million Super Bowl ad to get 'under Trump's skin'," 7 Jan. 2020 Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who has not yet scored high enough in recent polls to qualify for the next Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Jan. 14, announced receiving $16.5 million. Sara Burnett And Will Weissert, SFChronicle.com, "Warren, Booker, Klobuchar trail Democratic rivals in fundraising," 4 Jan. 2020 Castro, who launched his campaign in January, dropped out after failing to garner enough support in the polls or donations to make recent Democratic debates. Paul J. Weber, Anchorage Daily News, "Julián Castro drops out of race for Democratic presidential nomination," 2 Jan. 2020 Castro, who launched his campaign in January, dropped out after failing to garner enough support in the polls or donations to make recent Democratic debates. Paul J. Weber, Fortune, "‘It Simply Isn’t Our Time.’ Democrat Julián Castro Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race," 2 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With each about-face, his defenders and detractors rush to debate the theory behind the policy change, when there is none. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "As with Everything Else, Trump Is Following His Gut on Iran," 8 Jan. 2020 Meanwhile in London, lawmakers were set to debate Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal bill with the EU. Washington Post, "France calls on Britain to be flexible in post-Brexit talks," 7 Jan. 2020 Brexit Barrels Forth The British Parliament will resume sessions this week to debate Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit agreement. Charlotte Cowles, New York Times, "This Week in Business: A Former Auto Titan’s Shocking Escape," 5 Jan. 2020 Fans took to the comment section to debate his argument, with many people divided over his advice about parenting in the social media age. Hannah Jeon, Good Housekeeping, "Jeremy Roloff Ignites a Huge Parenting Debate on His Recent Instagram of Ember," 4 Jan. 2020 Chin and Ching weren’t the first people to debate the merits of Asian-American assimilation, though Chin might have been the first to put this debate in such colorful terms. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Asian-American Canon Breakers," 30 Dec. 2019 When Democrats gather to debate in Des Moines, Iowa, in two weeks, here’s hoping the moderators will be more curious than PBS’s Judy Woodruff was last time. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Amy Klobuchar’s ‘Secret’ List," 30 Dec. 2019 Stanton got both vice president Richard Nixon—who had been a champion debater at Whittier College—and senator John F. Kennedy to accept invitations to debate live on television. Michael J. Socolow, Quartz, "Why US presidential debates are designed to be boring," 19 Dec. 2019 Or maybe some family members want to debate politics. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "Here’s How You Can Get Half-Off Hotel Rooms on Christmas," 11 Dec. 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 3

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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Time Traveler for debate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for debate

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Debate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/debate. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for debate

debate

noun
How to pronounce debate (audio)

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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