devil's advocate

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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.]
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.

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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

devil's advocate

[ˈdɛvlzˈædvəˌkɪt] n to play (the) devil's advocatefare l'avvocato del diavolo
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
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