Synonyms & Antonyms of debate

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a careful weighing of the reasons for or against something
  • after much debate, I decided to get the chocolate ice cream

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Antonyms for debate

  • short shrift
2 variance of opinion on a matter
  • there was a great deal of debate over the need for cutting costs by eliminating some programs

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Antonyms for debate

3 an exchange of views for the purpose of exploring a subject or deciding an issue
  • there was no debate over the expenditures before the vote

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Synonyms & Antonyms of debate (Entry 2 of 2)

2 to talk about (an issue) usually from various points of view and for the purpose of arriving at a decision or opinion
  • we debated the advantages versus the disadvantages of the proposed waterfront development

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Frequently Asked Questions About debate

How does the verb debate contrast with its synonyms?

The words argue and discuss are common synonyms of debate. While all three words mean "to discourse about in order to reach conclusions or to convince," debate suggests formal or public argument between opposing parties; it may also apply to deliberation with oneself.

debated the merits of the amendment

I'm debating whether I should go

Where would argue be a reasonable alternative to debate?

In some situations, the words argue and debate are roughly equivalent. However, argue implies the offering of reasons or evidence in support of convictions already held.

argued that the project would be too costly

When can discuss be used instead of debate?

The words discuss and debate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, discuss implies a sifting of possibilities especially by presenting considerations pro and con.

discussed the need for a new highway

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The first known use of debate was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Debate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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