Definitions for devils advocate

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word devils advocate


  1. devils advocate(Noun)

    One who debates from a view which he may not actually hold, usually to determine its validity or simply for the sake of argument.

  2. devils advocate(Noun)

    A canon lawyer appointed by the Church to argue against the canonization of the proposed candidate.

  3. Origin: advocatus diaboli.


  1. Devil's advocate

    In common parlance, a devil's advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position they do not necessarily agree with, for the sake of debate or to explore the thought further. In taking this position, the individual taking on and playing the devil's advocate role seeks to engage others in an argumentative discussion process. The purpose of such a process is typically to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure, and to use such information to either improve or abandon the original, opposing position. It can also refer to someone who takes a stance that is seen as unpopular or unconventional, but is actually another way of arguing a much more conventional stance. The background of this word comes from an official position within the Catholic Church, in which a canon lawyer called the Devil's Advocate, also known as the Promoter of Faith, "argued against the canonization of a candidate in order to uncover any character flaws or misrepresentation evidence favoring canonization."

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"devils advocate." STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. < advocate>.

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