Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Strife, discord.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An informal and spirited but generally civil discussion of opposing views.
  • n. Discussion of opposing views.
  • n. 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To engage in combat for; to strive for.
  • transitive v. To contend for in words or arguments; to strive to maintain by reasoning; to dispute; to contest; to discuss; to argue for and against.
  • intransitive v. To engage in strife or combat; to fight.
  • intransitive v. To contend in words; to dispute; hence, to deliberate; to consider; to discuss or examine different arguments in the mind; -- often followed by on or upon.
  • n. A fight or fighting; contest; strife.
  • n. Contention in words or arguments; discussion for the purpose of elucidating truth or influencing action; strife in argument; controversy.
  • n. Subject of discussion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To engage in combat; fight; do battle.
  • To dispute; contend.
  • To deliberate together; discuss or argue; also, reflect; consider.
  • To fight or contend for; battle for, as with arms.
  • To contend about in argument; argue for or against; discuss; dispute: as, the question was debated till a late hour.
  • To reflect upon; consider; think.
  • Synonyms Argue, Dispute, Debate, etc. See argue.
  • n. Strife; contention; contest; fight; quarrel.
  • n. Contention by argument; discussion; dispute; controversy: as, forensic debates.
  • n. Subject of discussion.
  • To abate; lower.
  • To abate; fall off.
  • n. Debasement; degradation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)
  • v. have an argument about something
  • n. a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal
  • v. discuss the pros and cons of an issue
  • v. think about carefully; weigh
  • v. argue with one another

Etymologies

Middle English debaten, from Old French debatre : de-, de- + battre, to beat; see batter1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French debatre ("to fight, contend, debate, also literarlly to beat down"), from Romanic desbattere, from Latin dis- ("apart, in different directions") + battuere ("to beat, to fence"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Did I, debating, Nita dating, Nita bed? I did.

    October 18, 2008

  • Hardly.

    October 16, 2008

  • I presume it wasn't Happy Feet.

    October 16, 2008

  • The real debate.

    (Why does The Penguin remind me of Cheney?)

    October 16, 2008