1

debate

noun de·bate \ di-ˈbāt , dē- \
Updated on: 3 Dec 2017

Definition of debate

: 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 1motion 3a) before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure
b : a regulated discussion of a proposition (see 1proposition 1b) between two matched sides
  • the last presidential debate before the election
  • the debate's moderator

Examples of debate in a Sentence

  1. The candidates participated in several debates before the election was held.

  2. The meaning of the text has been the subject of considerable debate among scholars for many years.

Recent Examples of debate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of debate


2

debate

verb

Definition of debate

debated; debating
intransitive verb
1 obsolete : fight, contend
2 a : 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
1 a : 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

debatement

play \-ˈbāt-mənt\ noun

debater

noun

Examples of debate in a Sentence

  1. Scholars have been debating the meaning of the text for years.

  2. Whether or not the tax cuts benefit the lower classes is still hotly debated among economists.

  3. The energy bill is currently being debated in Congress.

  4. The President debated his challenger in front of a live audience on Tuesday.

  5. The students debated for an hour.

Recent Examples of debate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of debate

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

debate Synonyms

Synonyms
chew over, cogitate, consider, contemplate, ponder, deliberate, entertain, eye, kick around, meditate, mull (over), perpend, pore (over), question, revolve, ruminate, study, think (about or over), turn, weigh, wrestle (with)
Related Words
muse (upon), reflect (on or upon), reminisce; analyze, explore, review; conclude, reason; second-guess, speculate (about); brood (about or over), dwell (on or upon), fixate (on or upon), fret (about or over), obsess (about or over); believe, conceive, opine; absorb, assimilate, digest, drink (in)
Near Antonyms
disregard, ignore, overlook, slight; dismiss, pooh-pooh (also pooh), reject

Synonym Discussion of debate

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


DEBATE Defined for English Language Learners

debate

noun

Definition of debate for English Language Learners

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


debate

verb

Definition of debate for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

debate

noun de·bate \ di-ˈbāt \

Definition of debate for Students

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.

2

debate

verb

Definition of debate for Students

debated; debating
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

debater

noun


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