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.
verb (used without object), debated, debating.
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.
verb (used with object), debated, debating.
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.

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

debater, noun
debatingly, adverb
interdebate, verb, interdebated, interdebating.
nondebater, noun
nondebating, adjective
outdebate, verb (used with object), outdebated, outdebating.
overdebate, verb, overdebated, overdebating.
postdebate, adjective
predebate, noun
predebater, noun
redebate, noun, verb, redebated, redebating.
undebated, adjective
undebating, adjective
well-debated, adjective

1. argument, controversy, disputation, contention. 5. dispute, contend. See argue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
debate (dɪˈbeɪt)
1.  a formal discussion, as in a legislative body, in which opposing arguments are put forward
2.  discussion or dispute
3.  the formal presentation and opposition of a specific motion, followed by a vote
4.  to discuss (a motion), esp in a formal assembly
5.  to deliberate upon (something): he debated with himself whether to go
[C13: from Old French debatre to discuss, argue, from Latin battuere]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from Fr. debattre (13c.), orig. "to fight," from de- "down, completely" + batre "to beat."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


formal, oral confrontation between two individuals, teams, or groups who present arguments to support opposing sides of a question, generally according to a set form or procedure

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
While experts debate that question, they agree that more devastating tempests are headed our way.
So debate all you want, anthropology is a science if you want it to be and it isn't if you don't want it to be so.
The budget debate is turning into a deficit discussion.
The discussion produced no compromises-it was a debate, not a negotiation-but
  it was clarifying.
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