A somewhat formalized argument between individuals or teams trying to sway someone (an audience or judge) to their position (pro or con) on the issue which is the topic of debate.

De*bate" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Debated; p. pr. & vb. n. Debating.] [OF. debatre, F. d'ebattre; L. de + batuere to beat. See Batter, v. t., and cf. Abate.]


To engage in combat for; to strive for.

Volunteers . . . thronged to serve under his banner, and the cause of religion was debated with the same ardor in Spain as on the plains of Palestine. Prescott.


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

A wise council . . . that did debate this business. Shak.

Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself. Prov. xxv. 9.

Syn. -- To argue; discuss; dispute; controvert. See Argue, and Discuss.


© Webster 1913.

De*bate", v. i.


To engage in strife or combat; to fight.



Well could he tourney and in lists debate. Spenser.


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.

He presents that great soul debating upon the subject of life and death with his intimate friends. Tatler.


© Webster 1913.

De*bate", n. [F. d'ebat, fr. d'ebattre. See Debate, v. t.]


A fight or fighting; contest; strife.


On the day of the Trinity next ensuing was a great debate . . . and in that murder there were slain . . . fourscore. R. of Gloucester.

But question fierce and proud reply Gave signal soon of dire debate. Sir W. Scott.


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.

Heard, noted, answer'd, as in full debate. Pope.


Subject of discussion.


Statutes and edicts concerning this debate. Milton.


© Webster 1913.

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