from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun One who argues against a cause or position, not as a committed opponent but simply for the sake of argument or to determine the validity of the cause or position.
- noun Roman Catholic Church An official formerly appointed to present arguments against a proposed canonization or beatification.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun idiomatic One who
debatesfrom a view which he or she may not actually hold, usually to determine its validityor simply for the sake of argument.
- noun Roman Catholic Church A
canonlawyer appointed by the Churchto argue against the canonization of the proposed candidate.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun someone who takes the worse side just for the sake of argument
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
[Translation of Medieval Latin advocātus diabolī, one arguing for the devil's plea against canonizing a saint : Latin advocātus, advocate + Late Latin diabolī, genitive of diabolus, devil.]
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
devil + 's + advocate, a calque of Latin advocātus diabolī ("the devil’s advocate").
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