From Middle English debaten, from Old French debatre (to fight, contend, debate, also literally to beat down), from Romanic desbattere, from Latin dis- (apart, in different directions) + battuere (to beat, to fence).
debate (countable and uncountable, plural debates)
- 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.
- An informal and spirited but generally civil discussion of opposing views.
- The debate over the age of the universe is thousands of years old.
- There was a bit of a debate over who should pay for the damaged fence.
- Discussion of opposing views.
- There has been considerable debate concerning exactly how to format these articles.
- (frequently in the 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.
debate (third-person singular simple present debates, present participle debating, simple past and past participle debated)
- To participate in a debate; to dispute, argue, especially in a public arena.
- Several people wanted to debate me about which of the two most frequently used online encyclopedias had more reliable information.
- To consider (to oneself), to think over, to attempt to decide
- He was debating where he'd spend his holiday.
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