Definition of debate in English:

debate

noun

  • 1A formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.

    ‘last night's debate on the Education Bill’
    • ‘A debate in parliament was interrupted for an announcement of Germany's victory.’
    • ‘In the key parliamentary debate on Tuesday he voted in support of the war.’
    • ‘The records on televised presidential debates are unequivocal.’
    • ‘Not one public meeting or debate has been organised by the council.’
    • ‘In the first couple of activists' meetings there were debates about selling Socialist Worker and holding Marxist forums.’
    • ‘Watt committed himself to holding more public debates and discussions separate from council meetings.’
    • ‘In those circumstances the House does not need to hold an urgent debate on the matter today.’
    • ‘Both bids had previously been turned down by members of the District Council following debates at planning meetings.’
    • ‘We can constantly intervene in discussions and debates and ask why questions are framed in the way they are.’
    • ‘More than any other events on the campaign trail this year, the debates have drawn intense public interest.’
    • ‘The second question is, why were all the meetings and debates on the budget closed to the public?’
    • ‘In yesterday's debate, Mr Wicks acknowledged the " complexity " of the problems facing former mining areas.’
    • ‘The Deputy First Minister has tabled two amendments for the final debate on Wednesday.’
    • ‘She is always on the move, always between important committee meetings and debates in the Lords and media interviews and court appearances.’
    • ‘Many of the big meetings allowed little time for discussion, so most debates took place informally or at smaller meetings and seminars.’
    • ‘Pendle councillors held a debate on phone masts and called for more power to decide where they went.’
    • ‘They also called for a debate on the subject to be held in the European Parliament.’
    • ‘I am looking forward to the National Party's contribution to tonight's debate.’
    • ‘Local party and trade union delegates also voted for debates on the issues of public services, pensions, employment rights and manufacturing.’
    • ‘Switzerland, with its generally slower pace and its thorough political debates before votes are held, may be the exception.’
    discussion, exchange of views, discourse, parley
    argument, dispute, wrangle, altercation, war of words
    arguing, argumentation, wrangling, sparring, disputation, dissension, disagreement, controversy, contention, conflict, disharmony
    negotiations, talks
    dialogue, comment, interest
    confab, powwow, rap session
    velitation, contestation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An argument about a particular subject, especially one in which many people are involved.
      ‘the national debate on abortion’
      [mass noun] ‘there has been much debate about prices’
      • ‘Certain parts of the country are beginning to explore the uses of the site and get involved in serious debates.’
      • ‘Now the great debate on smoking in public spaces is coming to Manchester.’
      • ‘One of the most vigorous philosophical debates of the century broke out among cosmologists during the 1930s and 1940s.’
      • ‘It is a subject that warrants wider debate and much more prompt action.’
      • ‘This aspect of the debate has been the subject of much political and academic disagreement.’
      • ‘Motherhood - taken for granted for centuries - is now the subject of heated debates.’
      • ‘While the cause of the erratic weather is a subject of debate, a couple of its effects are clear.’
      • ‘The debate on this subject will go on as long as the human race exists, so all I can do is raise a few points on the subject.’
      • ‘I wouldn't normally involve myself in debates or arguments about who should be American president.’
      • ‘The research will also reignite the debate over the use of cannabis for other medicinal purposes.’
      • ‘News filtered through as MPs debated the bill that will pay for the Olympic Games.’
      • ‘Adverts on television and in newspapers were designed to begin the public debate about the assembly.’
      • ‘Whether civil servants should wear a uniform is still a matter of public debate.’
      • ‘And while we're on the subject of national debates, the perennial one about the future of the BBC rumbles on.’
      • ‘The subject that dominates the debate about the new car is of course the styling.’
      • ‘In France, the nature, meaning and acceptability of his work remain the subject of debate.’
      • ‘The book, published in 1999, sparked considerable public debate.’
      • ‘An ongoing debate is raging in Germany about the pros and cons of daycare for children.’
      • ‘Love him or hate him, he is the subject of heated debates among fans.’
      • ‘Some of the by-laws generated heated public debate when they were published in their draft form.’
      • ‘A vigorous debate is raging over the economic growth estimates.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner.

    ‘MPs debated the issue in the Commons’
    [no object] ‘members of the society debated for five nights’
    • ‘The Law Society of Scotland is set to debate the issue of child offenders and child rights at a conference in May.’
    • ‘Last Tuesday the issue was debated by the Scottish parliament's European committee.’
    • ‘I would have thought the fact that Parliament is debating this legislation shows parliamentary power.’
    • ‘In essence, that is why we are here today debating this bill.’
    • ‘He may let parliament debate the matter, if it suits him.’
    • ‘For decades, experts have debated the relative merits of nonprofit vs. for-profit hospitals.’
    • ‘There are working groups and study groups still debating the issues.’
    • ‘The trust's financial recovery plan was also debated at the meeting.’
    • ‘He hoped MPs would be able to debate the issue and persuade the government to change its stance.’
    • ‘The Bill, brought under the ten-minute rule, is due to be debated by MPs on Tuesday.’
    • ‘Reports on highly specialist issues are debated, but with little detail.’
    • ‘The role of physiotherapy in prevention and management of pulmonary disease has been debated for decades.’
    • ‘Five protesters managed to evade security to enter the chamber as MPs debated the controversial issue.’
    • ‘Reproductive cloning will be debated at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on November 5.’
    • ‘Further rioting followed and the subject was debated in the Reichstag.’
    • ‘The issue of the bridge came up again, for the second month in a row, and again the topic was hotly debated.’
    • ‘Last night the House of Lords debated a proposal to extend research on human embryos.’
    • ‘The item had not been included on the agenda, which meant the committee could not debate the issue.’
    • ‘Congress is now debating agricultural policy for the new millennium.’
    • ‘But when it came to the price of salt, the commissioners spent many hours debating the subject.’
    discuss, confer about, talk over, talk through, talk about, exchange views on, exchange views about, thrash out, argue, argue about, argue the pros and cons of, dispute, wrangle over, bandy words concerning, contend over, contest, controvert, moot
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with clause]Consider a possible course of action in one's mind before reaching a decision.
      ‘he debated whether he should leave the matter alone or speak to her’
      • ‘Her mind was still debating which way to go when her body went ahead and chose for her.’
      • ‘He waits by the phone, debating whether to make a trip to India to search for his son.’
      • ‘She sat cross-legged with a confused look on her face, debating whether to ask or keep quiet until a better time.’
      • ‘Terry, a big man in a rather loud suit, is openly debating whether to sign up now.’
      • ‘I told him it was too late when I saw he was debating whether or not to tell me more.’
      • ‘I can see she is debating whether or not to tell me the truth.’
      • ‘Still debating whether to call B. It would be such a step back if I do.’
      • ‘I was debating whether or not to approach her and ask her if anything was wrong.’
      • ‘Christine looked at Jacquin, she was debating in her mind if she should talk to him or not.’
      • ‘Brittany bit her lip for a moment as she debated which to choose.’
      • ‘Sandra paused for a moment and debated in her mind as to whether she should go or not.’
      • ‘Audrey debated the issue for a minute, then bent down and gave Todd a peck on the cheek.’
      • ‘After all, once you are debating whether a work is art or not, you have already proven it is.’
      • ‘She took a sip of her iced tea, silently debating about whether to tell him or not.’
      • ‘After standing near the door debating whether or not to enter I decide just to go in.’
      • ‘The person who bumped into her froze and was obviously debating whether or not to make a run for it.’
      • ‘After school, Kendra was debating with herself whether or not to go to practice.’
      • ‘The sisters themselves were equally nervous, debating whether or not to go for just a half container.’
      • ‘I stared at the plate for a while debating whether to try it.’
      • ‘Dennis put his bag down on the ground and stared at it, at if he was debating whether to open it.’

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin dis- (expressing reversal) + battere to fight.

Pronunciation:

debate

/dɪˈbeɪt/