• synonyms


[ahr-gyuh-muh nt]
See more synonyms for argument on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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Origin of argument

1325–75; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin argūmentum. See argue, -ment
Related formsre·ar·gu·ment, noun

Synonym study

1. Argument, controversy, dispute imply the expression of opinions for and against some idea. An argument usually arises from a disagreement between two persons, each of whom advances facts supporting his or her own point of view. A controversy or a dispute may involve two or more persons. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for argument

squabble, clash, exchange, brawl, disagreement, controversy, feud, altercation, dispute, debate, quarrel, bickering, case, claim, contention, discussion, assertion, reasoning, reason, plea

Examples from the Web for argument

Contemporary Examples of argument

Historical Examples of argument

  • How I closed the argument—the conversation and the interview—and escaped from her, I know not.

  • But Jeff Rankin swept all argument away with a movement of his big paws.

  • The man assented to her argument, and went to look out the two beds she wanted.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • And always, in response to every argument, Mary shook her head in negation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It was evident that Dick perceived the futility of argument.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for argument


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

Word Origin and History for argument


early 14c., "statements and reasoning in support of a proposition," from Old French arguement "reasoning, opinion; accusation, charge" (13c.), from Latin argumentum "evidence, ground, support, proof; a logical argument," from arguere "to argue" (see argue). Sense passed through "subject of contention" to "a quarrel," a sense formerly attached to argumentation.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with argument


see under pick a quarrel.

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