[ ahr-gyuh-muhnt ]
See synonyms for: argumentarguments on

  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.

  1. a process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn't follow his argument.

  2. a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.

  3. an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.

  4. subject matter; theme: The central argument of his paper was presented clearly.

  5. an abstract or summary of the major points in a work of prose or poetry, or of sections of such a work.

  6. Mathematics.

    • an independent variable of a function.

    • Also called amplitude. the angle made by a given vector with the reference axis.

    • the angle corresponding to a point representing a given complex number in polar coordinates.: Compare principal argument.

  7. 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.

  8. Obsolete.

    • evidence or proof.

    • a matter of contention.

Origin of argument

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

synonym study For argument

1. 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.

Other words from argument

  • re·ar·gu·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use argument in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for argument


/ (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

  1. (sometimes plural) a point or series of reasons presented to support or oppose a proposition

  2. a summary of the plot or subject of a book, etc

  3. logic

    • a process of deductive or inductive reasoning that purports to show its conclusion to be true

    • formally, a sequence of statements one of which is the conclusion and the remainder the premises

  4. logic an obsolete name for the middle term of a syllogism

  5. maths

    • an element to which an operation, function, predicate, etc, applies, esp the independent variable of a function

    • the amplitude of a complex number

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with argument


see under pick a quarrel.

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