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
In October, several Fox News hosts had to quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus on a flight returning from a presidential debate in Nashville.As her partner struggles with covid-19, a quarantined Rachel Maddow pleads: ‘Don’t get this thing’ | Katie Shepherd | November 20, 2020 | Washington Post
So, there’s some debate as to whether these e-cigarette ads could lead to an increase in sales of tobacco cigarettes.Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 1: TV) (Ep. 440) | Stephen J. Dubner | November 19, 2020 | Freakonomics
The company said that over the past few months it has sent out Calming messages and breathing exercises at high-stress moments, including during the presidential debates.Meditation app Calm boosted after sponsoring CNN’s election night coverage | Danielle Abril | November 13, 2020 | Fortune
The rise in AI’s popularity also has triggered a debate, Brown says.
The move will raise new questions about the future of the legislature, perhaps the most high-profile platform for open debate left under Beijing’s rule.4 Hong Kong opposition lawmakers ousted minutes after Beijing passes ‘patriot’ requirement | Claire Zillman, reporter | November 11, 2020 | Fortune
Ever since it was created in 1965, politicians and researchers have studied and debated its effectiveness.
The role of race in these cases and those of other unarmed black men has been debated at length.
The hostages were told to sit and wait as the rebels debated their fate.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis | Nina Strochlic | November 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
While medications have improved, the use of preventative drugs like Truvada remains hotly debated.Victor Mooney’s Epic Adventure for His Dead Brother | Justin Jones | October 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“This has to be one of the issues that gets debated,” he said.
The question of running powers was prominent throughout the case and had been much debated and discussed.Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland | Joseph Tatlow
A law would be proposed, debated and, if passed, be submitted to the Governor for his approval.Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia | Dorothy M. Torpey
The question of the Filipinosʼ capacity for self-government has been frequently debated since the Rebellion of 1896.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
It has been a frequently debated question whether man comprises a single species or two or more species of animal descent.Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
Out of Plato come all things that are still written and debated among men of thought.Beacon Lights of History, Volume I | John Lord
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