argue

verb

ar·​gue ˈär-(ˌ)gyü How to pronounce argue (audio)
argued; arguing

intransitive verb

1
: to give reasons for or against something : reason
argue for a new policy
2
: to contend or disagree in words : dispute
They're always arguing about money.

transitive verb

1
: to give evidence of : indicate
The facts argue his innocence.
2
: to consider the pros and cons of : discuss
argue an issue
3
: to prove or try to prove by giving reasons : maintain
asking for a chance to argue his case
4
: to persuade by giving reasons : induce
couldn't argue her out of going
arguer
ˈär-gyə-wər How to pronounce argue (audio)
-gyü-ər
noun
Choose the Right Synonym for argue

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

Example Sentences

She argued against the proposed law. The senator argued in favor of lowering taxes. He's always willing to argue for what is right. She argued that the proposed law should be defeated. He argued that it's far too early to make a decision. No one can argue me out of doing this. They started arguing about politics. She would argue with anyone. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Supporters, though, argue the new version of the SOLs is clearer than the previous iteration and promotes critical thinking. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2022 Burris and McKnight argue that none of those circumstances were present in their case. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Nov. 2022 Even acknowledging that the new system has its shortcomings, many argue that the only way to make things better is to get people invested in the access they’ve recently been granted. Zoya Qureshi, The Atlantic, 15 Nov. 2022 The need for regulation Despite the shortcomings, many industry players argue that proof of reserves is a positive step forward. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 14 Nov. 2022 But degrowthers argue that an endless desire for more — bigger national economies, greater consumption, heftier corporate profits — is myopic, misguided and ultimately harmful. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 13 Nov. 2022 Trump lawyers argue there was no wrongdoing, because the companies made all repayments on time, as the lenders received millions of dollars in fees and never complained about the transactions. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2022 The Brackeen plaintiffs argue that the special rules for the adoption of Indian children are racially discriminatory. Thomas P. Crocker, The New Republic, 8 Nov. 2022 Research universities argue that studying animals is sometimes the only way to answer critical scientific questions and that staff are committed to conducting the research in a responsible manner. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 8 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French arguer to reprove, argue & Latin arguere to demonstrate, prove; Anglo-French arguer, from Latin argutare to prate, frequentative of arguere; akin to Hittite arkuwai- to plead, respond

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near argue

Cite this Entry

“Argue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/argue. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

argue

verb

ar·​gue ˈär-gyü How to pronounce argue (audio)
argued; arguing
1
: to give reasons for or against
argue in favor of lowering taxes
2
: to talk about some matter usually with different points of view
argue about politics
3
: to persuade by giving reasons
tried to argue their parents into getting a new car
arguer noun

Legal Definition

argue

verb

ar·​gue
argued; arguing

intransitive verb

1
: to give reasons for or against a matter in dispute
arguing for an extension
2
: to present a case in court
will argue for the defense

transitive verb

1
a
: to give reasons for or against
argued the issue before the judge
b
: to prove or try to prove by giving reasons or evidence
will argue invasion of privacy
2
: to present in court
lawyers in court filing briefs and arguing appeals Rorie Sherman
arguable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on argue

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