View synonyms for argument


[ ahr-gyuh-muhnt ]


  1. an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation:

    a violent argument.

  2. a discussion involving differing points of view; debate:

    They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.

  3. a process of reasoning; series of reasons:

    I couldn't follow his argument.

  4. a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point:

    This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.

  5. an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.
  6. subject matter; theme:

    The central argument of his paper was presented clearly.

  7. an abstract or summary of the major points in a work of prose or poetry, or of sections of such a work.
  8. Mathematics.
    1. an independent variable of a function.
    2. Also called amplitude. the angle made by a given vector with the reference axis.
    3. the angle corresponding to a point representing a given complex number in polar coordinates. Compare principal argument.
  9. Computers. a variable in a program, to which a value will be assigned when the program is run: often given in parentheses following a function name and used to calculate the function.
  10. Obsolete.
    1. evidence or proof.
    2. a matter of contention.


/ ˈɑːɡjʊmənt /


  1. a quarrel; altercation
  2. a discussion in which reasons are put forward in support of and against a proposition, proposal, or case; debate

    the argument on birth control will never be concluded

  3. sometimes plural a point or series of reasons presented to support or oppose a proposition
  4. a summary of the plot or subject of a book, etc
  5. logic
    1. a process of deductive or inductive reasoning that purports to show its conclusion to be true
    2. formally, a sequence of statements one of which is the conclusion and the remainder the premises
  6. logic an obsolete name for the middle term of a syllogism
  7. maths
    1. an element to which an operation, function, predicate, etc, applies, esp the independent variable of a function
    2. the amplitude of a complex number

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Other Words From

  • re·argu·ment noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of argument1

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English (from Old French ), from Latin argūmentum; argue, -ment

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Idioms and Phrases

see under pick a quarrel .

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Synonym Study

Argument, controversy, dispute imply the expression of opinions for and against some idea. An argument usually arises from a disagreement between two people, each of whom advances facts supporting their own point of view. A controversy or a dispute may involve two or more people. A dispute is an oral contention, usually brief, and often of a heated, angry, or undignified character: a violent dispute over a purchase. A controversy is an oral or written expression of contrary opinions, and may be dignified and of some duration: a political controversy.

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Example Sentences

Barr was explicit about setting the table for that argument in an interview with a Chicago Tribune columnist this week.

What was important for us was finding a solution that fit the customer behavior—that’s the key argument for moving users from an illegal website to a legal one.

From Quartz

A super PAC funded almost entirely by Illinois megadonor Richard Uihlein, Restoration has run a string of ads in the Midwest supporting local Republican candidates and making very different arguments against Joe Biden.

Murphy says that from October 2018 to March 2019, he, Nielsen, and other top DHS officials discussed how best to present their argument to Congress for building a wall on the southern border with Mexico.

From Vox

You kind of need a case study to have a solid argument for an advertiser.

From Digiday

In 2009, a Pakistani Christian woman got into a religious argument with some Muslim women with whom she was harvesting berries.

I remember that after the movie, people were saying how depressing it was, and I started an argument with them.

Mehdi Bayati has been putting forward the same argument as my middle school teachers.

The argument now is how to limit certain types of plays that banks can make under certain circumstances.

The New York kingmaker who died Monday believed voters could actually handle a nuanced argument.

Many people when presented with the argument above, would settle it at once with the word "socialism."

"But I don't see what you can shoot with it," said Davy, feeling that he was somehow getting the worst of the argument.

That argument was not the one of least weight in the council in determining that our fleet should not sail against the enemy.

These brilliant results were arrived at after much clamour and argument and imposing procès verbal.

An argument took place in a coffee-house, between two men of taste, as to the best method of dressing a beefsteak.


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More About Argument

What is an argument?

An argument is a spoken disagreement or altercation between two people, The argument between the couple began with a disagreement over who’s turn it was to empty the dishwasher.

An argument is also a debate, as in The argument about whether or not to buy new playground equipment went back and forth for over an hour.

An argument is a series of reasons, as in The debating team always prepared an argument on the importance of debating teams. 

An argument is also a theme or central argument, as in an essay.

Example: The debate turned into a heated argument when the missing money was brought up.

Where does argument come from?

The first records of the term argument come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin argūmentum.

Arguments arise when two points of view cannot align. Arguments can be caused by differences of opinion, honest misunderstandings, or outright lies. For example, a couple might have an argument about doing household chores because one person has a stronger desire for cleanliness than the other person does. Arguments like these can be found in just about any situation and can typically be resolved with a compromise.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to argument?

What are some synonyms for argument?

What are some words that share a root or word element with argument

What are some words that often get used in discussing argument?

How is argument used in real life?

Argument is commonly used to describe a discussion with two or more conflicting viewpoints.


Try using argument!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for argument?

A. agreement
B. altercation
C. debate
D. disagreement

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.