- 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
1250–1300; (v.) Middle English debaten < Old French debatre, equivalent to de- de- + batre to beat < Latin battere, earlier battuere; (noun) Middle English debat < Old French, derivative of debatre
SynonymsSee more synonyms for debate on Thesaurus.com
1. argument, controversy, disputation, contention. 5. dispute, contend.
5. See argue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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
C13: from Old French debatre to discuss, argue, from Latin battuere
Word Origin and History for un-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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper