Definition of debate noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪˈbeɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈbeɪt//
    [countable, uncountable] debate (on/about/over something) Parliament
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  1. 1  a formal discussion of an issue at a public meeting or in a parliament. In a debate two or more speakers express opposing views and then there is often a vote on the issue. a debate on abortion The minister opened the debate (= was the first to speak). The motion under debate (= being discussed) was put to a vote. After a long debate, Congress approved the proposal. Synonymsdiscussionconversation dialogue talk debate consultation chat gossipThese are all words for an occasion when people talk about something.discussion a detailed conversation about something that is considered to be important:Discussions are still taking place between the two leaders.conversation a talk, usually a private or informal one, involving two people or a small group; the activity of talking in this way:a telephone conversationdialogue conversations in a book, play or film:The novel has long descriptions and not much dialogue. A dialogue is also a formal discussion between two groups, especially when they are trying to solve a problem or end a dispute:The President told waiting reporters there had been a constructive dialogue.talk a conversation or discussion, often one about a problem or something important for the people involved:I had a long talk with my boss about my career prospects.debate a formal discussion of an issue at a public meeting or in a parliament. In a debate two or more speakers express opposing views and then there is often a vote on the issue:a debate on prison reformconsultation a formal discussion between groups of people before a decision is made about something:There have been extensive consultations between the two countries.chat a friendly informal conversation; informal talking. The countable use of chat is especially British English:I just called in for a chat about the kids.gossip a conversation about other people and their private lives:We had a good gossip about the boss.Patterns a discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​talk/​debate/​consultation/​chat/​gossip about something a discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​debate/​consultation on something in (close) discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​debate/​consultation with somebody to have a discussion/​conversation/​dialogue/​talk/​debate/​consultation/​chat/​gossip with somebody to hold a discussion/​conversation/​debate/​consultation CollocationsPoliticsPower create/​form/​be the leader of a political party gain/​take/​win/​lose/​regain control of Congress start/​spark/​lead/​be on the brink of a revolution be engaged/​locked in an internal power struggle lead/​form a rival/​breakaway faction seize/​take control of the government/​power bring down/​overthrow/​topple the government/​president/​regime abolish/​overthrow/​restore the monarchy establish/​install a military dictatorship/​a stable government be forced/​removed/​driven from office/​power resign/​step down as party leader/​an MP/​president/​prime minister enter/​retire from/​return to political lifePolitical debate spark/​provoke a heated/​hot/​intense/​lively debate engage in/​participate in/​contribute to (the) political/​public debate (on/​over something) get involved in/​feel excluded from the political process launch/​start/​lead/​spearhead a campaign/​movement join/​be linked with the peace/​anti-war/​feminist/​civil rights movement criticize/​speak out against/​challenge/​support the government lobby/​put pressure on the government (to do something) come under fire/​pressure from opposition partiesPolicy call for/​demand/​propose/​push for/​advocate democratic/​political/​land reform(s) formulate/​implement domestic economic policy change/​influence/​shape/​have an impact on government/​economic/​public policy be consistent with/​be in line with/​go against/​be opposed to government policy reform/​restructure/​modernize the tax system privatize/​improve/​deliver/​make cuts in public services invest (heavily) in/​spend something on schools/​education/​public services/(the) infrastructure nationalize the banks/​the oil industry promise/​propose/​deliver/​give ($80 billion in/​significant/​substantial/​massive) tax cuts a/​the budget is approved/ (especially North American English) passed by parliament/​congressMaking laws have a majority in/​have seats in Parliament/​Congress/​the Senate propose/​sponsor a bill/​legislation/​a resolution introduce/​bring in/​draw up/​draft/​adopt/​pass a bill/​a law/​legislation/​measures amend/​repeal an act/​a law/​legislation veto/​vote against/​oppose a bill/​legislation/​a measure/​a proposal/​a resolution get/​require/​be decided by a majority vote Wordfinderargument, ayes, chair, debate, the floor, motion, propose, second, speak, vote See related entries: Parliament
  2. 2  an argument or a discussion expressing different opinions a heated/wide-ranging/lively debate the current debate about tax There had been much debate on the issue of childcare. Whether he deserves what has happened to him is open to debate/a matter for debate(= cannot be certain or decided yet). The theatre's future is a subject of considerable debate.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin dis- (expressing reversal) + battere ‘to fight’.Extra examples A healthy society promotes vigorous debate. Do you ever speak in debates? Efforts to reduce the budget have led to a lot of internal debate at the studio. Experts pore over the President’s debate performances. He accused the government of trying to stifle debate. He was reluctant to enter the debate for or against war. Honest debate is the foundation of democracy. Many leading charities have contributed to the debate on world poverty. Many of these points were raised during the debate on prison reform. Television actually encourages public debate about such issues. The benefits of the new law are open to debate. The club started admitting women in 1901 after years of bitter debate. The debate focused on who should pay for the changes. The entire debate is framed in terms of what you can do to protect yourself. The environmentalists seem to have lost the debate over the building of this road. The government lost the debate in the House of Commons. The incident has reignited public debate over the role of teachers. The issue is still under debate. The nature of this book is to provoke reasoned debate. The poll showed that the Democrat won last night’s presidential debate. The president will open the debate. The proposed changes to the law have been the subject of much debate. The union holds debates for students. There has been heated debate about whether the film should be allowed. These events shifted debate from economic issues to social ones. This accident has sparked off an intense debate on road safety. Three major issues have dominated the education debate. We had a brief debate about whether or not to accept the offer. You cannot separate unemployment from the wider debate about the economy. a parliamentary debate on the fishing industry legislative debates over gay marriage the debate among academics the debate surrounding contemporary art the growing debate on school reform the ongoing debate over American foreign policy The motion under debate was put to a vote. The theatre’s future is a subject of considerable debate. There has been much debate on the issue of childcare. Whether he deserved what happened to him is open to debate/​a matter for debate. a debate on prison reform
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: debate

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