- 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 debate on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for debated
Ever since it was created in 1965, politicians and researchers have studied and debated its effectiveness.Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball?
Peter Orszag, Jim Nussle
December 23, 2014
The role of race in these cases and those of other unarmed black men has been debated at length.Are College Educated Police Safer?
December 1, 2014
When Citizens United was debated before the Supreme Court, 56 percent of those surveyed agreed that money is speech.The New War on Big Money in Politics
September 10, 2014
Few guys are mentioned, and even then, their inclusion in this club is debated.Redheads Are Sexy, Dammit!
September 2, 2014
The benefits and dangers of MDMA have long been debated (it was made illegal in Britain in 1977 and in the U.S. in 1985).The Week in Death: Alexander Shulgrin, Who Synthesized the Drug Ecstasy
June 7, 2014
"But look you here, Arthur," debated Mr. Galloway, in a tone of reasoning.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
But there is where affliction overtook me; they debated its authorship.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
Frank debated this question in his mind as he went back home.Frank Roscoe's Secret
The Sun reported this answer to his council, who debated the question, which was knotty.The History of Louisiana
Le Page Du Pratz
The three took counsel together, on hearing this, and debated what it might be best to do.Barnaby Rudge
- 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 debated
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.