devil's advocate

Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

dev·il's advocate

1. One who argues against a cause or position, not as a committed opponent but simply for the sake of argument or to determine the validity of the cause or position.
2. Roman Catholic Church An official formerly appointed to present arguments against a proposed canonization or beatification.

[Translation of Medieval Latin advocātus diabolī, one arguing for the devil's plea against canonizing a saint : Latin advocātus, advocate + Late Latin diabolī, genitive of diabolus, devil.]

devil's advocate

1. a person who advocates an opposing or unpopular view, often for the sake of argument
2. (Roman Catholic Church) RC Church the official appointed to put the case against the beatification or canonization of a candidate. Technical name: promotor fidei
[translation of New Latin advocātus diabolī]

dev′il's ad′vocate

1. a person who advocates an opposing view, as for the sake of argument.
2. an official of the Roman Catholic Church whose duty is to argue against a proposed beatification or canonization.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.devil's advocate - someone who takes the worse side just for the sake of argument
arguer, debater - someone who engages in debate

devil's advocate

[ˈdɛvlzˈædvəˌkɪt] n to play (the) devil's advocatefare l'avvocato del diavolo
References in periodicals archive ?
The Devil's Advocate Guide to Planning Your Business Website is not a computer or HTML manual, leaving such material to other, more technical resources.
From left, Dean Powner, Anthony Bracey and Gary Bainbridge at The Devil's Advocate on Borough Road in |Middlesbrough, which boasts its own resident magician 181214DEVIL_04
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Devil's Advocate has been the leading legal fee management and litigation consulting firm, and its founder, John Toothman, has been the leading expert in the field, including the author of the leading papers and books about legal fees and their management.
That is why, in this music video, Michael draws a chalkboard portrait of devil's advocate Glenn Beck, ("Glenn loves using chalkboards to make his own points," says Michael) in the act of judging World Soccer and hence, he himself being judged.
Because his presentation of facts must include everything unfavorable to the candidate, the promoter of the faith is popularly known as the devil's advocate.
The military plays a minor role as he discusses such topics as barbed wire disease, the hangman, the Trojan women, the devil's advocate, and the last man to get away.
Playing devil's advocate to my children's and grandchildren's likely reaction to the articles forced me to re-examine my own seventy-something attitudes and convictions and wonder: Where did either the church or I personally go wrong?
Harrelson mentioned some of these emotional portrayals when he presented the award to salute Theron's artistic independence in ``Monster,'' ``The Devil's Advocate,'' ``North Country'' and other films.
The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization, by Thomas Kelley and Jonathan Littman (Currency, 2005).
THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE By Morris West Loyola Press, 430 pages, $12.
We can only hope that he was playing Devil's Advocate.
Innovation is the lifeblood of all organizations and the Devil's Advocate is toxic to your cause.