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


v. de·bat·ed, de·bat·ing, de·bates
1. To consider something; deliberate.
2. To engage in argument by discussing opposing points.
3. To engage in a formal discussion or argument. See Synonyms at discuss.
4. Obsolete To fight or quarrel.
1. To deliberate on; consider.
2. To dispute or argue about.
3. To discuss or argue (a question, for example) formally.
4. Obsolete To fight or argue for or over.
1. A discussion involving opposing points; an argument.
2. Deliberation; consideration: passed the motion with little debate.
3. A formal contest of argumentation in which two opposing teams defend and attack a given proposition.
4. Obsolete Conflict; strife.

[Middle English debaten, from Old French debatre : de-, de- + battre, to beat; see batter1.]

de·bate′ment n.
de·bat′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the act of deliberating or arguing about something
2. the state of being in dispute or dissent
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
"Without debatement further more or less," Hamlet emblematizes
Then, when we consider the content of the meditatio, the paratactic use of God's Word invokes God's Voice in dialogue with Donne's "debatements." Thus, we must consider God's reply to Donne through Job: "Who is this who darkeneth by words without knowledge?...
Donne instead constructs an unfolding and much more overtly philosophical querying of his own convictions and the posing of deeply existential questions, what Donne calls on the title page of the Devotions "debatements with God." This querying begins in the Meditation section and extends into the Expostulation section in which the specific questions he introduces are determined to have palpable and potentially dire spiritual implications.