- 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
Synonyms for debate
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
Word Origin for debate
C13: from Old French debatre to discuss, argue, from Latin battuere
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
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