dis·​pu·​ta·​tion ˌdi-spyə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce disputation (audio)
: the action of disputing : verbal controversy
continuous disputation between them
ideological disputations
: an academic exercise in oral defense of a thesis by formal logic

Examples of disputation in a Sentence

years of debate and disputation a heated disputation over the true authorship of the poem popularly known as “The Night Before Christmas”
Recent Examples on the Web Jake is a single father who has brought Kristen up in the severe Calvinist tradition, marked by Bible disputations of Talmudic intricacy and by a radical detachment from secular and popular culture. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 8 Sep. 2023 And yet there is one aspect of the book which was notable: a disputation of the Richard Wrangham's work in Demonic Males. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 22 Apr. 2013 Seven decades later, this culture of disputation emerged as a central theme in Timothy Garton Ash’s The Magic Lantern, his eyewitness report on the Eastern European revolutions of 1989. Susie Linfield, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2022 By taking steps to remember that politics always involves disputation, even among those who vote for the same candidates and affiliate with the same party, Americans may begin to rediscover the ability to respectfully disagree with opponents. Robert B. Talisse, The Conversation, 3 Jan. 2022 Only death could remove Hoover from office, and his departure eventually did lead to significant reforms, but the notoriety of the FBI has endured—thanks often to fiascos of its own making—as has contentious disputation about it. Robert G. Kaiser, The New York Review of Books, 27 Feb. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disputation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of disputation was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near disputation

Cite this Entry

“Disputation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disputation. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​pu·​ta·​tion ˌdis-pyə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce disputation (audio)
: the act of disputing : debate

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