Definition of DEBATE

DEBATE Noun and Verb

Debate operates as both a noun and a verb, encompassing structured discussions or arguments on a particular topic or issue. It involves presenting and defending opposing viewpoints through reasoned argumentation, critical thinking, and persuasive rhetoric.

DEBATE as a verb

When used as a verb, to debate refers to the action of engaging in a structured discussion or argument on a particular topic or issue. It involves presenting arguments, counterarguments, and rebuttals in a formal or informal setting, aiming to persuade others and reach a conclusion or consensus.

DEBATE as a noun

As a noun, debate refers to the structured discussion or argumentation process itself, as well as the event or forum where such discussions take place. Debates may range from formal competitions or political forums to informal discussions among friends or colleagues.

Structured Discussion: Debating often follows a structured format, with participants taking turns presenting their arguments, offering evidence and examples to support their positions, and responding to opposing viewpoints. Moderators or judges may oversee the debate, ensuring fairness, adherence to rules, and respectful discourse.

Critical Thinking and Persuasion: Debating requires critical thinking skills, as participants analyze information, evaluate arguments, and anticipate counterarguments to strengthen their positions. Effective debaters use logic, evidence, and persuasive rhetoric to sway opinions and convince others of the validity of their viewpoints.

Educational Tool: Debating is commonly used as an educational tool in schools, universities, and other settings to foster critical thinking, communication skills, and civic engagement. It encourages students to research, analyze, and articulate complex issues, preparing them for informed participation in public discourse and decision-making.

Public Discourse: Debates play a crucial role in public discourse, providing a platform for the exchange of ideas, the examination of differing perspectives, and the exploration of complex issues facing society. They contribute to democratic deliberation, accountability, and informed decision-making on matters of public concern.

Conclusion: In conclusion, debate as both a noun and a verb embodies the principles of reasoned argumentation, critical thinking, and persuasive discourse in the exploration and resolution of complex issues. Whether used as an educational tool, a forum for public discourse, or a means of fostering intellectual engagement and civic participation, debating encourages individuals to critically examine ideas, communicate effectively, and contribute meaningfully to the exchange of knowledge and understanding in society. Embracing the art of debate allows for respectful and constructive dialogue, facilitating the exchange of diverse perspectives and the pursuit of truth and informed decision-making.

Examples of DEBATE in a sentence

DEBATE as a verb in a sentence

  • As a verb, to debate means to discuss, deliberate, or argue about a topic, often with differing viewpoints or perspectives.
  • Students debate various issues in their civics class to develop critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Scientists debate the potential impact of climate change on global ecosystems.
  • Politicians debate policy proposals in parliamentary chambers to reach consensus on legislation.
  • The candidates will debate healthcare reform during the upcoming election campaign.
  • Citizens are encouraged to debate social issues and engage in civil discourse to promote understanding and progress.
  • Historians debate interpretations of historical events to uncover new insights and perspectives.
  • The editorial sparked a lively debate among readers, with contrasting opinions expressed in the comments section.

DEBATE as a noun in a sentence

  • As a noun, a debate refers to a formal discussion or argumentation on a particular topic, often structured with rules and time limits.
  • The presidential debate attracted millions of viewers who tuned in to hear the candidates’ positions on key issues.
  • In a competitive debate, teams present arguments and counterarguments to persuade judges and audience members.
  • The debate over gun control legislation has intensified following recent mass shootings.
  • Academic debates provide a forum for scholars to exchange ideas and challenge prevailing theories.
  • The town hall debate allowed constituents to question their elected representatives on local concerns.
  • The debate on healthcare reform highlighted ideological differences between political parties.
  • Hosting a debate club at school encourages students to research, analyze, and articulate their viewpoints effectively.

Origin of DEBATE 

The term debate comes from the Middle English word “debat,” which is derived from the Old French word “debatre,” meaning “to fight” or “to quarrel.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Debatre (Old French): Referring to “to fight” or “to quarrel.”
  • Debat (Middle English): Borrowed from Old French, maintaining a similar meaning.
  • Debate (Modern English): Evolved from Middle English, with the sense of “discussion” or “argument” often involving opposing viewpoints.

Therefore, “debate” originally described a verbal contest or quarrel, but it now primarily refers to a formal discussion or argument on a particular topic, typically with opposing viewpoints presented and analyzed.


  • Argue
  • Discuss
  • Deliberate
  • Dispute
  • Contend
  • Wrangle
  • Confer
  • Converse


  • Agree
  • Concede
  • Accept
  • Harmonize
  • Collaborate
  • Accord
  • Assent
  • Support


  • Discourse
  • Dialogue
  • Disagreement
  • Dissension
  • Argumentation
  • Exchange
  • Negotiation
  • Sparring

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