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 Legler’s wife, Siri May, is a human rights activist who wore one of Comey’s dresses, with its unabashed evocation of traditional femininity, to the United Nations during a debate on women, peace and security. Washington Post, "Fashion Week begins, and so does an entire industry’s angst over its very existence," 8 Feb. 2020 Ahead of next week's primary, seven Democratic presidential candidates will take part in the party's second debate of 2020 on Friday in the city of Manchester (ABC, 8 p.m. ET). Editors, USA TODAY, "New Hampshire Democratic debate, coronavirus outbreak, Astros cheating scandal: 5 things to know Friday," 7 Feb. 2020 Buttigieg, during a Democratic presidential debate on Friday night, took aim at the former vice president. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Buttigieg frames Biden as an establishment dinosaur," 7 Feb. 2020 On Thursday, the House voted to table Granger's resolution, ending debate on the matter. Katie Surma, azcentral, "Rep. Paul Gosar wants House Speaker Nancy Pelosi censured for ripping up Trump speech," 7 Feb. 2020 That’s because these arguments, though entirely standard in the academic debate on this topic, are almost completely different from the ones Caldwell focuses on while casting doubt on Brown and the 1964 act. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Did Civil-Rights Laws Ruin America?," 5 Feb. 2020 The debate on the merits of the month occur every year. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Midwest college gift shop removes display of dolls of Black leaders that were hanging from a tree," 5 Feb. 2020 Dates stopped being about finding love and instead became open, cast-wide debates on the intentions, failings, and public opinions of Luke Parker. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Is Peter Making A Very Luke P. Mistake On The Bachelor?," 29 Jan. 2020 With conservatives still in denial about the reality of climate change, debate on this issue is unfolding primarily on the left. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "Privacy Policy," 27 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The finer details are debated as many factors, including population immunity and disease severity, need to be taken into account. Meera Senthilingam, CNN, "WHO says Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is not yet a pandemic," 4 Feb. 2020 The value of the Fitnessgram has long been debated, with critics saying the test is a one-size-fits-all, even though children come in all sizes and shapes. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "Gavin Newsom wants to suspend ‘body-shaming,’‘bullying’fitness test in schools," 4 Feb. 2020 That description would be debated for the rest of the night, and will continue to be until Election Day. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Trump's State of the Union was pure reality TV starring Rush Limbaugh and Nancy Pelosi," 4 Feb. 2020 Lynch, in Miami this week for the Super Bowl as GM of the 49ers, was also among the 15 finalists whose resumes were debated and discussed throughout the day by the panel of four dozen voters. Eddie Pells, Houston Chronicle, "Troy Polamalu, Steve Atwater heading to Hall of Fame," 1 Feb. 2020 Saturday was the fourth time James’s career has been debated among the 48 Hall of Fame voters. Adam Fisher, Indianapolis Star, "'You just have to be patient.' Colts star Edgerrin James finally gets the call to Canton," 1 Feb. 2020 Whether Brexit makes Britain a proud nation that has reclaimed its sovereignty, or a diminished presence in Europe and the world, will be debated for years to come. Anchorage Daily News, "Britain leaves the European Union, leaps into the unknown," 31 Jan. 2020 Her reasons for doing this have been debated by biographers ever since. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘The Lost Girls’ Review: High Minds and Slender Means," 31 Jan. 2020 Big-animal fight superiority has been debated online among experts, and the consensus seems to be ... the grizzlies. Washington Post, "Gene Weingarten: Here’s who should be playing in the Super Bowl," 30 Jan. 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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Debate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/debating. Accessed 17 Feb. 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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