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 and 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 The debate over science extends beyond climate change. Dallas News, "Curbing partisanship to embracing American spirit: 5 things the coronavirus fight has taught us," 17 May 2020 The Göbekli Tepe complex is believed to have been made by hunters and gatherers and has been the subject or archeological debate since its discovery by German archaeologist Dr. Klaus Schmidt in 1994. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "A temple that predates Stonehenge reveals architectural planning may be older than we think," 16 May 2020 Now, disagreements about re-opening the economy, which appear to cleave along party lines, have crept into the debate. Andrew Taylor And Alan Fram, Houston Chronicle, "House to vote Friday on more virus aid, despite GOP skeptics," 15 May 2020 And that only helps his case in the greatest-of-all-time debate. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Young Warriors relish learning about Michael Jordan, ‘the one who changed the game’," 15 May 2020 But the mask-wearing directive has also fueled political debates on social media, with some seeing them as an infringement on their personal liberty. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Mask or no mask? Why Kentucky's new requirement to battle COVID-19 is causing such a fuss," 15 May 2020 Explore dynamic updates of the earth’s key data points Open the Data Dash Close The police visit followed a confusing series of events that has typified the U.S. debate over how soon to reopen the economy. Dana Hull, Bloomberg.com, "Police Visit to Tesla Shows U.S. Confusion on Lockdown Loosening," 15 May 2020 The debate over whether the COVID-19 death count has been exaggerated has intensified as deaths from the virus continue to rise at a steady and alarming rate. Fox News, "As US coronavirus death toll mounts, so does the belief by some that it is exaggerated," 15 May 2020 Amazon was drafting its own federal facial recognition legislation to pitch to lawmakers, though the coronavirus pandemic has derailed the federal debate. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Democrats introduce bill to protect data collected in coronavirus pandemic," 14 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Historians continue to debate just how effective the longbow was in battle. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Medieval arrows caused injuries similar to gunshot wounds, study finds," 13 May 2020 Polar bears first diverged from brown bears around 400,000 years ago for reasons that researchers continue to debate. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "From dangerous predator to beloved Arctic icon: 2 books show shifting perception of polar bears," 9 May 2020 Both parties will have plenty to debate this year as voters in November decide whether to give Trump and his fossil fuel agenda another four years. James Bruggers, The Courier-Journal, "Some Young Republicans embrace a slower, gentler brand of climate activism," 8 May 2020 Researchers continue to debate how fast a coronavirus vaccine may be available as states and nations look for a fast track to recovery from the pandemic’s economic toll, with January or even the fall now on the timetable. Fortune, "January? This fall? Scientists continue to debate when a coronavirus vaccine will arrive," 4 May 2020 The Senate is also expected to debate reauthorizing previously expired rules allowing the federal government to eavesdrop on citizens. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, "Senate returns to Washington despite city’s coronavirus spike and Congress’ stalemate," 3 May 2020 Some astrophysicists continue to debate whether the tension might be nothing more than a measurement error. Quanta Magazine, "What Might Be Speeding Up the Universe’s Expansion?," 27 Apr. 2020 Lawmakers have already begun to debate what next steps to take, with Democrats and Trump pushing for quick action on another giant rescue bill that would include funding for cities and states left out of the legislation being passed Thursday. Erica Werner, BostonGlobe.com, "House passes $484 billion bill with money for small businesses, hospitals and testing," 23 Apr. 2020 As the chamber gathered to debate the fourth large coronavirus bill since the beginning of the crisis, Reps. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Several Texas Republicans decline to wear masks during House debate on coronavirus relief," 23 Apr. 2020

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

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Debate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/debate. Accessed 1 Jun. 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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Comments on debate

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