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

        

    debate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈbeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈbeɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they debate
    BrE BrE//dɪˈbeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈbeɪt//
     
    he / she / it debates
    BrE BrE//dɪˈbeɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈbeɪts//
     
    past simple debated
    BrE BrE//dɪˈbeɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈbeɪtɪd//
     
    past participle debated
    BrE BrE//dɪˈbeɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈbeɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form debating
    BrE BrE//dɪˈbeɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈbeɪtɪŋ//
     
    Parliament
     
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  1. 1  [transitive, intransitive] to discuss something, especially formally, before making a decision or finding a solution synonym discuss debate (something) Politicians will be debating the bill later this week. The question of the origin of the universe is still hotly debated (= strongly argued about) by scientists. debate whether, what, etc… The committee will debate whether to lower the age of club membership to 16. Synonymstalkdiscuss speak communicate debate consultThese words all mean to share news, information, ideas or feelings with another person or other people, especially by talking with them.talk to speak in order to give information, express feelings or share ideas:We talked on the phone for over an hour.discuss (rather formal) to talk and share ideas on a subject or problem with other people, especially in order to decide something:Have you discussed the problem with anyone? You cannot say ‘discuss about something’:I’m not prepared to discuss about this on the phone.speak to talk to somebody about something; to have a conversation with somebody:I’ve spoken to the manager about it. ‘Can I speak to Susan?’ ‘Speaking.’ (= at the beginning of a telephone conversation)talk or speak?Speak can suggest a more formal level of communication than talk. You speak to somebody about something to try to achieve a particular goal or to tell them to do something. You talk to somebody in order to be friendly or to ask their advice:Have you talked to your parents about the problems you’re having? I’ve spoken to Ed about it and he’s promised not to let it happen again.communicate (rather formal) to exchange information or ideas with somebody:We only communicate by email. Dolphins use sound to communicate with each other. Communicate is often used when the speaker wants to draw attention to the means of communication used.debate to discuss something, especially formally, before making a decision or finding a solution:Politicians will be debating the bill later this week.consult (rather formal) to discuss something with somebody in order to get their permission for something, or to help you make a decision:You shouldn’t have done it without consulting me.Patterns to talk/​discuss something/​speak/​communicate/​debate/​consult with somebody to talk/​speak to somebody to talk/​speak to somebody/​consult somebody about something to talk/​speak of something See related entries: Parliament
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to think carefully about something before making a decision debate (with yourself) She debated with herself for a while, and then picked up the phone. debate whether, what, etc… We're debating whether or not to go skiing this winter. debate doing something For a moment he debated going after her.
  3. Word Origin Middle English: via Old French from Latin dis- (expressing reversal) + battere ‘to fight’.Extra examples He sat there debating with himself what to do. The issue is still being hotly debated. The question of security needs to be debated publicly. The report has been widely debated in the industry. a presidential candidate debating with his opponent She debated with herself for a while and then picked up the phone. The question of the origin of the universe is still hotly debated by scientists. We’re debating whether or not to go skiing this winter.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: debate

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