Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-bey-tuh-buh l] /dɪˈbeɪ tə bəl/
open to question; in dispute; doubtful:
Whether or not he is qualified for the job is debatable.
capable of being debated.
Origin of debatable
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French. See debate, -able
Related forms
nondebatable, adjective
undebatable, adjective
1. questionable, dubious, arguable, disputable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for debatable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Since that was a debatable point on which the Commission had no jurisdiction to inquire, I returned no answer.

  • My hotel stands in the debatable land between the two districts.

    Gossamer George A. Birmingham
  • There is an ominous look to these pretentious establishments holding strategic points in this or that debatable territory.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • It is also an abandonment of the pretence that the question is not a debatable or open one.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • Maurice did not attack him, but captured the keys of the debatable land of Cleves and Juliers.

British Dictionary definitions for debatable


open to question; disputable
(law) in dispute, as land or territory to which two parties lay claim
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for debatable

1530s (late 15c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French debatable (Modern French débattable), from debatre (see debate (v.)). Earliest references were to lands claimed by two nations; general sense is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for debatable

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for debatable

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for debatable