Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To put forth reasons for or against; debate: "It is time to stop arguing tax-rate reductions and to enact them” ( Paul Craig Roberts).
  • transitive v. To attempt to prove by reasoning; maintain or contend: The speaker argued that more immigrants should be admitted to the country.
  • transitive v. To give evidence of; indicate: "Similarities cannot always be used to argue descent” ( Isaac Asimov).
  • transitive v. To persuade or influence (another), as by presenting reasons: argued the clerk into lowering the price.
  • intransitive v. To put forth reasons for or against something: argued for dismissal of the case; argued against an immediate counterattack.
  • intransitive v. To engage in a quarrel; dispute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To prove.
  • v. To shows grounds for concluding (that); to indicate, imply.
  • v. To debate, disagree, or discuss opposing or differing viewpoints.
  • v. To have an argument, a quarrel.
  • v. To present (a viewpoint or an argument therefor).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To invent and offer reasons to support or overthrow a proposition, opinion, or measure; to use arguments; to reason.
  • intransitive v. To contend in argument; to dispute; to reason; -- followed by with.
  • transitive v. To debate or discuss; to treat by reasoning
  • transitive v. To prove or evince; too manifest or exhibit by inference, deduction, or reasoning.
  • transitive v. To persuade by reasons.
  • transitive v. To blame; to accuse; to charge with.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring forward reasons to support or to overthrow a proposition, an opinion, or a measure; use arguments; reason: as, A argues in favor of a measure, B argues against it.
  • To contend in argument; dispute: as, you may argue with your friend a week without convincing him.
  • To debate or discuss; treat by reasoning; state the reasons for or against: as, the counsel argued the cause before the Supreme Court; the cause was well argued.
  • To evince; render inferable or deducible; show; imply: as, the order visible in the universe argues a divine cause.
  • To affect in any way by argument; induce a change in the mind of, or in regard to, by persuasion or reasoning: as, to argue one out of his purpose; to argue away a false impression.
  • 4. To accuse or charge; impeach or convict: used with of.
  • Synonyms Argue, Dispute, Debate, Discuss, plead, expostulate, remonstrate. To argue is to defend one's opinion, or to exhibit reasons or proofs in favor of some assertion or principle; it implies a process of detailed proof by one or more persons. To dispute may be to call in question the statements or arguments of an opposing party: as, to dispute about an award. It often means the alternate giving of reasons, especially by two persons. It is often applied to mere bickering, and is in general less dignified than the other words. To debate is to interchange arguments in a somewhat formal manner, as in debating societies and legislative bodies. To discuss is, by derivation, to shake or knock a subject to pieces in order to find the truth, or the best thing to be done. A debate, therefore, may be viewed as a discussion, or a discussion as a debate. Strictly, a discussion is an amicable presentation of opinions, not limited, like the others, to affirmative and negative sides of a proposition, and with the expectation on the part of all that the conclusion will be the adoption of no one person's opinion or plan unmodified. To argue a point, to dispute a position, to dispute with a neighbor, to debate a motion, to discuss a subject or a plan.

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

  • v. have an argument about something
  • v. give evidence of
  • v. present reasons and arguments

Etymologies

Middle English arguen, from Old French arguer, from Latin argūtāre, to babble, chatter, frequentative of arguere, to make clear; see arg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French arguer, from Latin arguere ("to declare, show, prove, make clear, reprove, accuse"), probably connected with Ancient Greek ἀργός (argos, "white, bright, etc."); see argent, and compare declare ("literally to make clear"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Critics of the term argue that associating the religion of Islam with fascism is offensive and inaccurate.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Islamofascism:

  • Critics of the term argue that associating the religion of Islam with fascism is offensive and inaccurate-well, perhaps those critics, finding the term offensive and inaccurate, might do something about modifying the behavior leading to the use of the term. otherwise, there is a phrase about the shoe and if it fits that springs to mind.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Islamofascism:

  • Even those who believe in the existence of this term argue that there is a "strong sense" (meaning genuine) critical thinking to be distinguished from a "weak sense" version, but I don't think (contra Paul and others) there are good, universally recognized warrants, standards, or criteria to draw those distinctions, especially in all the fields it could potentially encompass.

    Serendip's Exchange -

  • A too-high price point compared to the competition, a continued emphasis on Blu-Ray and HD when few consumers are embracing the technology, the lack of several truly mass market franchises (MGS4, you could argue, is one, but there's precious little else).

    Je Regrette

  • I think what you can argue is we're stuck in neutral.

    Obama Faces A New Political Reality

  • From this, we can say that there are other values that can potentially override democracy in creating institutions for a just government — one of which, I would argue, is the value of discussion, whereby no policy is made without all interested parties saying their peace, and where those that govern are forced to make at least some justification to their detractors.

    Matthew Yglesias » A Flawed Stimulus is Better than No Stimulus

  • And in neither case does that wage rate translate to the 'Living Wage' for a family of four that the pundits argue is the purpose of the minimum wage.

    Gary Becker on the Minimum Wage, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Part of the reason for the discount, they argue, is consumer confusion over the various labels and certifications, particularly since so few wines qualify for the organic standard, thus only qualifying for the looser “made from organically grown grapes” standard.

    Is there an eco-certification premium but an eco-label discount? | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • I argue from the libertarian conservative side, but I am no racist.

    Matthew Yglesias » India’s Response to Terrorism

  • Wimpy Kid, I would argue, is a picture story book.

    And the Wimpy Kid

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • All sides are faulty
    Anything can be argued
    That's an example...

    Stu Charno

    November 8, 2007

  • argue- is that clear?? such as in argent=silver: the argentine connection is clear once seen: that's the point of ARGuement: get the litharge (lead) out: PIE ROOT ARG-

    January 14, 2007