What does debate mean?

Definitions for debate

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word debate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. argument, argumentation, debatenoun

    a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal

    "the argument over foreign aid goes on and on"

  2. debate, disputation, public debateverb

    the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)

  3. debateverb

    argue with one another

    "We debated the question of abortion"; "John debated Mary"

  4. consider, debate, moot, turn over, deliberateverb

    think about carefully; weigh

    "They considered the possibility of a strike"; "Turn the proposal over in your mind"

  5. debate, deliberateverb

    discuss the pros and cons of an issue

  6. argue, contend, debate, fenceverb

    have an argument about something


  1. debatenoun

    Strife, discord.

  2. debatenoun

    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.

  3. debatenoun

    An informal and spirited but generally civil discussion of opposing views.

  4. debatenoun

    Discussion of opposing views.

    There has been considerable debate concerning exactly how to format these articles.

  5. debatenoun

    (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.

  6. debateverb

    To fight.

  7. debateverb

    To participate in a debate; to dispute, argue, especially in a public arena.

  8. Etymology: From debatre, from Romanic desbattere, from dis- + battuere.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Debateverb

    to engage in combat for; to strive for

  2. Debateverb

    to contend for in words or arguments; to strive to maintain by reasoning; to dispute; to contest; to discuss; to argue for and against

  3. Debateverb

    to engage in strife or combat; to fight

  4. Debateverb

    to contend in words; to dispute; hence, to deliberate; to consider; to discuss or examine different arguments in the mind; -- often followed by on or upon

  5. Debateverb

    a fight or fighting; contest; strife

  6. Debateverb

    contention in words or arguments; discussion for the purpose of elucidating truth or influencing action; strife in argument; controversy; as, the debates in Parliament or in Congress

  7. Debateverb

    subject of discussion

  8. Etymology: [F. dbat, fr. dbattre. See Debate, v. t.]


  1. Debate

    Debate is contention in argument; dispute, controversy; discussion; especially the discussion of questions of public interest in Parliament or in any assembly. Debate is a method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than deductive reasoning, which only examines whether a conclusion is a consequence of premises, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn't the case, or rhetoric, which is a technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior "context" and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic. The outcome of a debate depends upon consensus or some formal way of reaching a resolution, rather than the objective facts as such. In a formal debating contest, there are rules for participants to discuss and decide on differences, within a framework defining how they will interact. Debating is commonly carried out in many assemblies of various types to discuss matters and to make resolutions about action to be taken, often by a vote. Deliberative bodies such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, and meetings of all sorts engage in debates. In particular, in parliamentary democracies a legislature debates and decides on new laws. Formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as the leaders debates and the U.S. presidential election debates, are sometimes held in democracies. Debating is also carried out for educational and recreational purposes, usually associated with educational establishments. The major goal of the study of debate as a method or art is to develop the ability to debate rationally from either position with equal ease.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Debate

    de-bāt′, n. a contention in words or argument: (obs.) strife.—v.t. to contend for in argument: (arch.) to fight for.—v.i. to deliberate: to join in debate.—adjs. Debat′able, liable to be disputed; Debate′ful (Spens.), quarrelsome.—ns. Debate′ment (Spens., Shak.), controversy; Debat′er.—adv. Debat′ingly.—Debatable land, a tract of border land between Esk and Sark claimed both by England and Scotland. [O. Fr. debatre—L. de, and batuĕre, to beat.]

Editors Contribution

  1. debate

    To communicate and contribute a response to a form of unity government motion, question or form of proposed legislation using data, facts, information, proof, research, statistics or other relevant documentation.

    To use data, facts, information, document, research or statistics to debate within all forms of unity government is so important to ensure fairness and justness.

    Submitted by MaryC on July 22, 2020  
  2. debate

    To communicate and contribute a response to a question or request using data, proof, information, research, statistics and facts.

    People love to debate using data, information and facts.

    Submitted by MaryC on August 2, 2016  
  3. debate

    To discuss or communicate our view, belief, perception, opinion or knowledge in a conversation with a human being using data, proof, research, statistics, information and facts to support our view, perception, belief or opinion.

    Some people love to debate with their friends or fellow electorate in online forums or on social media. Debate is an intelligent element of a government process.

    Submitted by MaryC on September 12, 2016  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'debate' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1559

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'debate' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1276

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'debate' in Nouns Frequency: #584

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'debate' in Verbs Frequency: #936

Anagrams for debate »

  1. beated, betaed

How to pronounce debate?

How to say debate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of debate in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of debate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of debate in a Sentence

  1. Bill Clinton:

    I have held my peace because I thought it was important for the Congress to have a full debate without thrusting presidential politics and candidates into it, but now I think the president and his team could have the chance to drive a harder bargain.

  2. Pete Buttigieg:

    If you grew up during that Cold War period, then you saw a time in politics when the word socialism could be used to end an argument, today, I think a word like that is the beginning of a debate, not the end of a debate.

  3. Van Beurden:

    What can we as an industry do to help clear the way for a more informed debate? In the past we thought it was better to keep a low profile on the issue. I understand that tactic, but in the end it's not a good tactic.

  4. Sheryl Sandberg:

    When things are hate or things are violence, we take them down. But when things are false, we dramatically decrease it and we show the other side of the story, and that's because the debate has to happen, the way you can say something is false is you have to be able to say,' Here's the true side of the story,' and we want that debate to happen -- so that people do get educated and understand that the science is settled.

  5. Bill Carrick:

    I think there are people who are talking about it, what replaces it is probably a big debate.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for debate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مناظرة, نقاش, مناقشةArabic
  • дискутирам, дискусия, разискване, дебатирам, дебатиBulgarian
  • debatovatCzech
  • debattieren, DebatteGerman
  • συζητώ, αντιπαράθεση, αντιπαραθέτω, συζήτηση, διάλογος, συνεξετάζω, δίβατονGreek
  • debatir, debateSpanish
  • debatti, väitellä, väittelyFinnish
  • débat, débattre, discussionFrench
  • connsaich, connsachadhScottish Gaelic
  • चर्चा करना, बिबाद, वाद विवाद, वाद - विवाद करना, वाद-विवाद, वाद - विवाद, बहस, बहस करनाHindi
  • բանավիճել, բանավեճ, քննարկում, վեճArmenian
  • debatarIdo
  • dibattimento, dibattito, dibattereItalian
  • 議論, 討論Japanese
  • пікірталасKazakh
  • 토론Korean
  • disputō, disputātiōLatin
  • taupatupatuMāori
  • debatteren, discussie, meningsverschil, bespreking, bespreken, debat, uitpratenDutch
  • debattNorwegian
  • debataPolish
  • discussão, debater, debatePortuguese
  • discuție, dezbatere, polemică, controversăRomanian
  • дебат, спорить, дебаты, дискуссия, спор, полемика, обсуждать, дискутироватьRussian
  • debatAlbanian
  • meningsutbyte, debatt, diskussion, debatteraSwedish
  • mdahaloSwahili
  • వ్యాసం రచన పోటీ, ప్రత్యేక చర్చ, చర్చించుకొను, వాదించుకొను, చర్చలలో పాల్గొను, వాదించు, చర్చలు, వ్యాసరచన పోటీ, విమర్శించుTelugu
  • müzakere, münazara, tartışmak, tartışmaTurkish
  • tranh luậnVietnamese
  • 辯論Chinese

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    come out into view, as from concealment
    • A. obligate
    • B. interrupt
    • C. emerge
    • D. aggravate

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