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 debate (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 During the House debate Friday, one of the bill’s supporters, Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw, D-Avon, said the focus should be on how the bill will help victims of domestic abuse. Mark Pazniokas, courant.com, 7 June 2021 During legislative debate on the impact fees, Senate sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, pointed to recent increases in impact fees that exceeded 150% in Orange County and 80% in Hillsborough County. Jim Turner, orlandosentinel.com, 5 June 2021 Levine asked his colleagues during the floor debate. Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 During debate Sunday night, Democrats singled out new language not previously included in the bill that would allow a court to void an election if there were enough fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, 1 June 2021 The Big City column on Page 3 this weekend about the candidates for Manhattan’s district attorney incorrectly paraphrases Tali Farhadian Weinstein’s response to a question about conflicts of interest during a recent debate among the candidates. New York Times, 29 May 2021 During the first primary debate on May 13, Wiley was the rare candidate to oppose adding more police on the subways and in stations. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 28 May 2021 Pro-Beijing lawmakers lauded the bill during the debate on Wednesday and Thursday, saying that reforms would prevent those not loyal to Hong Kong from running for office. Time, 27 May 2021 During House debate Monday, Joe Moody, a Democrat who represents El Paso, pleaded with fellow lawmakers to consider the gun violence that could stem from unrestricted access to guns. BostonGlobe.com, 26 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The panel of judges, who debate whether to invest on air, includes Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, and former NSYNC band member Lance Bass. Kate Sheridan, STAT, 7 June 2021 On Friday morning, Mr. DeFazio introduced a five-year, $547 billion highway reauthorization bill that the House committee will debate next week. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, 4 June 2021 This practice of delaying decisions until there’s too little time to debate leads to bad laws. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, 3 June 2021 The television show was directly inspired by a column in the British newspaper The Guardian in 2015, where politicians would debate issues cleaving British society ahead of the Brexit referendum. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 May 2021 The annual gathering, which began Thursday, serves as a forum to debate policy, endorse candidates and otherwise energize party members. Fox News, 1 May 2021 If enough signatures stand, the state department of finance and the legislature have roughly two more months to debate the cost of the recall. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2021 Democrats needed at least 10 Republicans to get on board to receive the 60 votes needed to move the bill to debate in the Senate and for the chamber to proceed with any bipartisan amendments. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2021 Sidner said her Twitter feed has become a forum for viewers to debate the case. David Bauder, Star Tribune, 10 Apr. 2021

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

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Debate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/debate. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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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