- 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.
- deliberation; consideration.
- Archaic. strife; contention.
- 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.
Origin of debate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsdeliberation, contest, argument, controversy, match, dispute, consider, bicker, deliberate, question, wrangle, oppose, answer, argumentation, dialectic, contention, agitation, polemic, tiff, hassle
Examples from the Web for debate
The debate over who really pulled off the Sony hack, then, could continue indefinitely.Was Sony Hit With a Second Hack?
January 8, 2015
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
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
January 6, 2015
They are already infinitely more qualified to have that debate than we are.Cover-Ups and Concern Trolls: Actually, It's About Ethics in Suicide Journalism
January 3, 2015
During a debate, the candidates were asked about the islands.The World’s Toughest Political Quiz
December 31, 2014
The supremacy of the nation and its laws should be no longer a subject of debate.
But let it—if it must be Lovelace or Solmes, the choice cannot admit of debate.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
The debate began April 12th, and continued for eight nights.
He was quite aware of his own ascendency in counsel and his supremacy in debate.
I see that they are already forming to continue this debate with us.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
- 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
Word Origin and History for debate
early 14c., "a quarrel, dispute, disagreement," from Old French debat; see debate (v.). Sense of "a formal dispute, a debating contest" is perhaps from early 15c.