devil's advocate definition by Webster's New World
- R.C.Ch. an official selected to examine the facts critically and raise objections in the case of a dead person named for beatification or canonization
- a person who upholds what is regarded as the wrong side or an indefensible cause, perversely or for argument's sake
Origin: translated, translation of Midieval Latin advocatus diaboli
devil's advocate definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One who argues against a cause or position, not as a committed opponent but simply for the sake of argument or to determine the validity of the cause or position.
- Roman Catholic Church An official appointed to present arguments against a proposed canonization or beatification.
Origin: Translation of Medieval Latin advocātus diabolī, one arguing for the devil's plea against canonizing a saint : Latin advocātus, advocate + Late Latin diabolī, genitive of diabolus, devil.