Meaning of debate

de•bate

Pronunciation: (di-bāt'), [key]
— n., v., -bat•ed, -bat•ing.
—n.
  1. a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints: a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
  2. a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.
  3. deliberation; consideration.
  4. strife; contention.
—v.i.
  1. to engage in argument or discussion, as in a legislative or public assembly: When we left, the men were still debating.
  2. to participate in a formal debate.
  3. to deliberate; consider: I debated with myself whether to tell them the truth or not.
  4. to fight; quarrel.
—v.t.
  1. to argue or discuss (a question, issue, or the like), as in a legislative or public assembly: They debated the matter of free will.
  2. to dispute or disagree about: The homeowners debated the value of a road on the island.
  3. to engage in formal argumentation or disputation with (another person, group, etc.): Jones will debate Smith. Harvard will debate Princeton.
  4. to deliberate upon; consider: He debated his decision in the matter.
  5. to contend for or over.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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