devil's advocate

noun

Definition of devil's advocate

1 : a Roman Catholic official whose duty is to examine critically the evidence on which a demand for beatification or canonization rests
2 : a person who champions the less accepted cause for the sake of argument

Examples of devil's advocate in a Sentence

  1. Teachers often play devil's advocate to provoke discussion in the classroom.

Recent Examples of devil's advocate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'devil's advocate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of devil's advocate

translation of New Latin advocatus diaboli

DEVIL'S ADVOCATE Defined for English Language Learners

devil's advocate

Definition of devil's advocate for English Language Learners

  • : a person who expresses an opinion that disagrees with others so that there will be an interesting discussion about some issue


Learn More about devil's advocate


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up devil's advocate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

one who attends or assists a leader

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!