- de|bate1 W2S1 [dıˈbeıt] n1.) [U and C]discussion of a particular subject that often continues for a long time and in which people express different opinions▪ the gun-control debate in the US▪ The new drug has become the subject of heated debate within the medical profession.debate over/about▪ There has been widespread public debate over the introduction of genetically modified food.▪ There was much lively debate about whether women should spend more time in the home.▪ A fierce debate raged over which artist's work should be chosen for the prize.debate between▪ the ongoing debate between environmentalists and the road-building lobby over the future of our countryside▪ Nuclear power has always been a topic that has sparked off considerable debate .2.) [U and C]a formal discussion of a particular problem, subject etc in which people express different opinions, and sometimes vote on themdebate on/over/about▪ a debate on legalized gambling▪ a televised debatehave/hold/conduct a debate▪ It would have been better to hold the debate during the day.be under debate▪ What topics are under debate in Congress this week?3.) be open to debate also be a matter for debateif an idea is open to debate, no one has proved yet whether it is true or false= ↑debatable▪ Whether that would have made any difference is open to debate.▬▬▬▬▬▬▬COLLOCATES for sense 1heated/fierce/intense debate (=one in which people express strong and very different opinions)widespread debatelively debatepublic debatea debate rages (=it happens over a period of time and people have strong feelings about it)long-running debateongoing debate (=continuing debate)provoke/trigger/spark off a debate (=cause a debate)▬▬▬▬▬▬▬debate 2debate2 v [I and T][Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: debatre, from batre 'to hit']1.) to discuss a subject formally when you are trying to make a decision or find a solution▪ The issue will be debated on Tuesday.debate whether/what/how etc▪ Meanwhile, philosophers debate whether it's right to clone an individual.debate (sth) with sb▪ an invitation to debate with William on the future of democracy▪ His conclusions are hotly debated (=argued about strongly) .2.) to consider something carefully before making a decisiondebate with yourself▪ I debated with myself whether I should tell anyone.debate who/what/how etc▪ I'm still debating what to do.debate doing sth▪ For a moment Mary debated telling Rick the truth.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.