Two people having a debate.
- The definition of a debate is a formal discussion of the opposing sides of a specific subject or a formal contest of arguments.
- An example of debate is what Congress does when considering passing new legislation.
- An example of debate is when two people have a discussion about the pros and cons of the death penalty and each person takes a different side of the argument.
- To debate is defined as to argue about the opposing sides of a subject or to discuss the merits of different arguments and points of view.
An example of debate is when you have a discussion about the death penalty, which you are for and your conversation partner is against.
intransitive verb-·bat′ed, -·bat′ing
- to discuss opposing reasons; argue
- to take part in a formal discussion or a contest in which opposing sides of a question are argued
- to deliberate (with oneself or in one's own mind)
- Obs. to fight or quarrel
Origin of debateMiddle English debaten from Old French debatre, to fight, contend, debate: see de- and batter
- to dispute about, esp. in a meeting or legislature
- to argue (a question) or argue with (a person) formally
- to consider reasons for and against; deliberate on
- discussion or consideration of opposing reasons; argument about or deliberation on a question
- a formal contest of skill in reasoned argument, with two teams taking opposite sides of a specified question
- the art or study of formal debate
Origin of debateME & OFr debat < the v.
verbde·bat·ed, de·bat·ing, de·bates
- To consider something; deliberate.
- To engage in argument by discussing opposing points.
- To engage in a formal discussion or argument. See Synonyms at discuss.
- Obsolete To fight or quarrel.
- To deliberate on; consider.
- To dispute or argue about.
- To discuss or argue (a question, for example) formally.
- Obsolete To fight or argue for or over.
- A discussion involving opposing points; an argument.
- Deliberation; consideration: passed the motion with little debate.
- A formal contest of argumentation in which two opposing teams defend and attack a given proposition.
- Obsolete Conflict; strife.
Origin of debateMiddle English debaten from Old French debatre de- de- battre to beat ; see batter 1.
(countable and uncountable, plural debates)
- An argument, or discussion, usually in an ordered or formal setting, often with more than two people, generally ending with a vote or other decision.
- After a four-hour debate, the committee voted to table the motion.
- An informal and spirited but generally civil discussion of opposing views.
- The debate over the age of the universe is thousands of years old.
- There was a bit of a debate over who should pay for the damaged fence.
- (uncountable) Discussion of opposing views.
- There has been considerable debate concerning exactly how to format these articles.
- (Frequently in French form débat) A type of literary composition, taking the form of a discussion or disputation, commonly found in the vernacular medieval poetry of many European countries, as well as in medieval Latin.
(third-person singular simple present debates, present participle debating, simple past and past participle debated)
From Old French debatre (“to fight, contend, debate, also literally to beat down”), from Romanic desbattere, from Latin dis- (“apart, in different directions”) + battuere (“to beat, to fence”).