From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdebatede‧bate1 /dɪˈbeɪt/ ●●● S2 W2 AWL noun 1 [countable, uncountable] 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 [countable, uncountable]DISCUSS 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 debateCOLLOCATIONSadjectivesconsiderable debateThere has been considerable debate about the way forward for education.lively debate (=interesting and involving a lot of different opinions)The conference produced some lively debate.intense debate (=in which people put forward strong and different arguments)The future of the nuclear industry has been a matter of intense debate.a heated/fierce debate (=in which people express strong opinions in an angry way)There has been a fierce debate over the way the war was fought.a wider debate (=involving more people or a more general discussion)We believe that there should be a wider debate on such an important issue.a public debate (=in which people put forward their ideas publicly, so that everyone can form an opinion.)He called for a public debate on race and discrimination.national debate (=one that involves everyone in a country)It is time to start a national debate on the future of the health service.political debate (=involving members of political parties)There was much political debate on pensions reform.long-running debate (=continuing for a long time)the long-running debate about the future of our inner citiesongoing debate (=still continuing)This is unlikely to be the final word in this ongoing debate.verbshave a debateI think we should have a public debate on this issue.provoke/spark/trigger debate (=cause a debate to start)The episode provoked fierce debate about freedom of speech.stifle debate (=prevent people from having a debate)How can the party stifle debate on such an important issue?debate rages (=happens over a period of time and and involves strong feelings)A national debate is now raging over the level of youth crime.phrasesbe the subject of debate (=be something that people discuss)Teaching methods have long been the subject of debate.be a matter of debate (=be something that people have discussed)The effectiveness of the government’s policy has been a matter of fierce debate.be a matter for debate (=be something that people should discuss)The future of the police force is a matter for public debate.
Examples from the Corpusdebate• The law was passed, after a long and sometimes angry debate.• His jibe was greeted with howls of laughter as Mr Smith savaged Mr Major during the emergency debate on the economy.• Which is fine -- we enjoy a good debate in print, sensationalist punks that we are.• This matter has been the subject of intense public debate in recent weeks.• This stark view of what really matters has touched off a spirited debate and will occupy us in Chapter 5.• There will be a televised debate between those in favour of military action and those who are against.• However, the House will have further opportunities during the debate to clarify that important point.• For his part, Simpson said nothing Tuesday to fuel the debate over the verdicts.• The first question on foreign policy came 35 minutes into the debate.• On some issues he gave details of steps to settle the debate.heated debate• Even the slightest interface aspect could trigger a heated debate, with adherents of opposing solutions arguing with near-Jesuitical intensity.• After fifteen months of heated debate, Billingham was abandoned.• The issue was the subject of heated debate in a weekly morning caucus session.• Reginald Tufts, whose fighting ability was frequently the topic of heated debate, hit me until I cried.• No presidential policy is so controversial that it provokes heated debate.• Around such alternatives have views polarised in the heated debate over what the bill means for viewers.• There was heated debate regarding the performance of number of ministers.• There was heated debate, but by the casting vote of the chairman we got our grant.debate on/over/about• The abortion debate is causing more women to run for office.• This latter aim is increasingly important amidst debates about what health insurance should cover.• At the Campaign Against Arms Trade there is a continuing debate about whether to set practical or absolute aims.• Some items of expenditure are fixed by statute and there is no room for debate about how much is to be spent.• There has been very little public debate on the Navy's new program.• Some Conservative Members have made their last speeches in a Second Reading debate on coal.• Last fall a congressional tourism commission started debate on legalizing gambling.• The aim is to illustrate the emphasis in the debate on public choice considerations.• With publicity over gay marriages, the debate over homosexuality and the Bible once again fills radio talk-show airwaves.• The debate about who should pay what tax in the underdeveloped world has moved centre stage.debatedebate2 ●●○ AWL verb [intransitive, transitive] 1 DISCUSSto 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 (something) with somebody an invitation to debate with William on the future of democracy His conclusions are hotly debated (=argued about strongly).► see thesaurus at talk2 THINK ABOUTto 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 something For a moment Mary debated telling Rick the truth.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusdebate• But later the deputies set the stage for possible compromise by agreeing to debate a referendum after all.• The government clearly refuses to give us an opportunity to debate any longer.• The matter will be debated by the General Assembly.• The new law was debated in Parliament on 14 February.• The Bundesbank central council will meet Thursday to debate interest-rate and monetary policy.• Few areas of nutrition are more hotly debated than whether or not people should take vitamin supplements.• We were debating the best way to reach the river, when a passing ranger kindly pointed it out.• We have spent three days debating the council tax.• He was mournfully re-enacting the conversation between two officials, as they debated the merits of revoking a pass-interference penalty.• They were no longer debating the rights of man at a Club for Equality and Reform.• Whilst the consequences of these changes may be hotly debated, their marketing impact on business enterprises has been immense.• They had already debated where to go on vacation, Yosemite or Lake Tahoe.• We debated whether to fly or go by train, finally deciding on the train.debate whether/what/how etc• Why is it that the Government do not want to debate what is happening in Renfrewshire?• She debated whether she would do the church first or the vicarage.• Reams of paper have been used to debate what tag-questions, for instance, mean.• And why do firms debate whether they are correctly leveraged?• The hour had long since passed for his call to Virginia Stillman, and he debated whether to go through with it.• Derek debated whether to telephone Charlotte Ladram and offer his condolences, but, in the end, he decided not to.• Today, there is no formal structure to investigate or even debate whether UFOs have skipped through our atmosphere.debate with yourself• Would it, Celia debated with herself, be wrong now to ask her to become a godparent?• I debated with myself but in the end, I could not bring myself to pack up and leave.• He returned to the quad, glumly debating with himself what to do next.• He debated with himself whether to stay and so risk capture or leave while the exit was clear.Origin debate2 (1200-1300) Old French debatre, from batre “to hit”