Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “debate”

debate

noun [C or U] uk   /dɪˈbeɪt/ us  
B2 (a) serious discussion of a subject in which many people take part: Education is the current focus of public debate. How we proceed from here is a matter for debate. Over the year we have had several debates about future policy.

debate

verb uk   /dɪˈbeɪt/ us  
C2 [I or T] to discuss a subject in a formal way: In Parliament today, MPs debated the Finance Bill. They had been debating for several hours without reaching a conclusion. [+ question word] The authorities debated whether to build a new car park. [T] to try to make a decision about something: [+ question word] We debated whether to take the earlier train. I'm still debating what colour to paint the walls.
debater
noun [C] uk   /dɪˈbeɪ.tər/ us    /-t̬ɚ/
She was a good speaker and an excellent debater.
(Definition of debate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of debate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “debate” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

monster

any imaginary frightening creature, especially one that is large and strange

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More