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.]

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
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THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE By Morris West Loyola Press, 430 pages, $12.
We can only hope that he was playing Devil's Advocate.
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They're not Spanish and have far greater levels of devolution than us so, as devil's advocate, I ask this simple question - why should the British sides be allowed independent status when they are not independent countries?
He prides himself on being a strict devil's advocate.