open to question; in dispute; doubtful: Whether or not he is qualified for the job is debatable.
capable of being debated.

Origin of debatable

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French. See debate, -able
Related formsnon·de·bat·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·bat·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for debatable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for debatable

Contemporary Examples of debatable

Historical Examples of debatable

  • In the debatable class there ought to be a definition of all disputed matters.

  • Then Socrates: The question would seem at any rate to be debatable.

  • And the love-part of it seemed to him fixed: it didn't occur to him that that was debatable.

  • Now, it was singularly unfortunate that the question was ever debatable.


    Edgar Wallace

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


    George A. Birmingham

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

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