a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints: a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.
to engage in argument or discussion, as in a legislative or public assembly: When we left, the men were still debating.
to participate in a formal debate.
to deliberate; consider: I debated with myself whether to tell them the truth or not.
Obsolete. to fight; quarrel.
to argue or discuss (a question, issue, or the like), as in a legislative or public assembly: They debated the matter of free will.
to dispute or disagree about: The homeowners debated the value of a road on the island.
to engage in formal argumentation or disputation with (another person, group, etc.): Jones will debate Smith. Harvard will debate Princeton.
to deliberate upon; consider: He debated his decision in the matter.
Archaic. to contend for or over.
- de·bat·er, noun
- de·bat·ing·ly, adverb
- in·ter·de·bate, verb, in·ter·de·bat·ed, in·ter·de·bat·ing.
- non·de·bat·er, noun
- non·de·bat·ing, adjective
- out·de·bate, verb (used with object), out·de·bat·ed, out·de·bat·ing.
- o·ver·de·bate, verb, o·ver·de·bat·ed, o·ver·de·bat·ing.
- post·de·bate, adjective
- pre·de·bate, noun
- pre·de·bat·er, noun
- re·de·bate, noun, verb, re·de·bat·ed, re·de·bat·ing.
- un·de·bat·ed, adjective
- un·de·bat·ing, adjective
- well-de·bat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use debate in a sentence
I haven’t been doing mock debates very much, but I’ve been just making sure that I understand all that he has said and hasn’t said.Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine; Biden says Americans shouldn’t trust Trump | Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner | September 16, 2020 | Washington Post
Something that involved public debate and public contribution.Podcast: COVID-19 is helping turn Brazil into a surveillance state | Anthony Green | September 16, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
All the while the debate about whether or not you need E-A-T for ranking rages on.Google ranking factors to change search in 2021: Core Web Vitals, E-A-T, or AMP? | Aleh Barysevich | September 16, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
From my view at least, there hasn’t been much of a public debate about it, which reflects the way Italy has handled the pandemic from the start.A flurry of M&A deals lifts global stocks. Yes, even tech stocks | Bernhard Warner | September 14, 2020 | Fortune
There’s still debate as to whether such policies conflict with the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty.NASA will pay for moon rocks excavated by private companies | Neel Patel | September 10, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Throughout the fifties, in city after city, fluoridation became the subject of fierce debate.
Bush busy engaging constituents on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate ahead of the 2004 presidential election.
The debate over who really pulled off the Sony hack, then, could continue indefinitely.
And it must make sure that the platform of debate where we can freely exchange ideas is safe and sound.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive | Ayaan Hirsi Ali | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
They already know the answer, but they know by feigning ignorance they can create all this debate about it.Patton Oswalt on Fighting Conservatives With Satire | William O’Connor | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
On the 13th of February the Stamp Act bill was introduced and read for the first time, without debate.The Eve of the Revolution | Carl Becker
The Cuban debts and the future of the Philippines were really the knotty points in the entire debate.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
Congress met, and during the debate on the momentous question—peace or war—the hitherto compact group of intransigents weakened.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
He had not started the journey brashly, on impulse, but after debate and discussion with Mandy, his wife.Scattergood Baines | Clarence Budington Kelland
The decree of accusation was proposed, and carried, without debate, beneath the poniards of uncounted thousands of assassins.Madame Roland, Makers of History | John S. C. Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for debate
a formal discussion, as in a legislative body, in which opposing arguments are put forward
discussion or dispute
the formal presentation and opposition of a specific motion, followed by a vote
to discuss (a motion), esp in a formal assembly
to deliberate upon (something): he debated with himself whether to go
- debater, noun
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