follow Dictionary.com

Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!

debate

[dih-beyt] /dɪˈbeɪt/
noun
1.
a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints:
a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
2.
a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.
3.
deliberation; consideration.
4.
Archaic. strife; contention.
verb (used without object), debated, debating.
5.
to engage in argument or discussion, as in a legislative or public assembly:
When we left, the men were still debating.
6.
to participate in a formal debate.
7.
to deliberate; consider:
I debated with myself whether to tell them the truth or not.
8.
Obsolete. to fight; quarrel.
verb (used with object), debated, debating.
9.
to argue or discuss (a question, issue, or the like), as in a legislative or public assembly:
They debated the matter of free will.
10.
to dispute or disagree about:
The homeowners debated the value of a road on the island.
11.
to engage in formal argumentation or disputation with (another person, group, etc.):
Jones will debate Smith. Harvard will debate Princeton.
12.
to deliberate upon; consider:
He debated his decision in the matter.
13.
Archaic. to contend for or over.
Origin
1250-1300
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
Related forms
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
Synonyms
1. argument, controversy, disputation, contention. 5. dispute, contend. See argue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for debated
  • And yet scientists have long debated precisely how it improves brain performance at the cellular level.
  • As it cannot be debated or amended, it must be voted on immediately.
  • If no time has been appointed for another meeting, this motion may be amended and debated as any other main motion.
  • It cannot be debated, or amended, or have any other subsidiary motion applied to it.
  • They are difficult, and much debated by authorities on punctuation, but are of no great importance.
  • But the degree to which these hominids walked on the ground has been debated.
  • It has long been debated whether polar dinosaurs lived in the cold year round or migrated at particular seasons.
  • The plot featured three characters: a simpleton, a student and a sage, who debated the structure of the solar system.
  • For decades, scientists and policy-makers have debated whether space exploration is better suited to human beings or robots.
  • His reasons for sponsoring the expedition have long been debated.
British Dictionary definitions for debated

debate

/dɪˈbeɪt/
noun
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
verb
4.
to discuss (a motion), esp in a formal assembly
5.
to deliberate upon (something) he debated with himself whether to go
Derived Forms
debater, noun
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for debated
debate
c.1300, from Fr. debattre (13c.), orig. "to fight," from de- "down, completely" + batre "to beat."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for debated

debate

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

Learn more about debate with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for debate

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for debated

11
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with debated