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debate noun

1 discussion

ADJ. considerable | fierce, heated, intense, lively, vigorous There has been heated debate about whether the film should be allowed. | wider You cannot separate unemployment from the wider debate about the economy. | public Television actually encourages public debate about such issues. | political

VERB + DEBATE have | contribute to Many leading charities have contributed to the debate on world poverty. | encourage, promote A healthy society promotes vigorous debate. | spark off This accident has sparked off an intense debate on road safety. | stifle He accused the government of trying to stifle debate. | lose, win The environmentalists seem to have lost the debate over the building of this road. | be a matter for, be open to The benefits of the new law are open to debate.

DEBATE + VERB rage, take place A debate about safety is taking place in schools everywhere.

PREP. under ~ The issue is still under debate. | ~ about/on/over the debate on the environment | ~ among the debate among academics | ~ surrounding the debate surrounding contemporary art

PHRASES the subject of debate The proposed changes to the law have been the subject of much debate.

2 a formal discussion

ADJ. brief | lengthy, long | acrimonious, fierce, heated, lively, stormy a stormy debate in the House of Commons | congressional, parliamentary a parliamentary debate on the fishing industry

VERB + DEBATE have, hold We had a brief debate about whether or not to accept the offer. The union holds debates for students. | participate in, speak in, take part in Do you ever speak in debates? | open The prime minister will open the debate. | close | lose, win The government lost the debate in the House of Commons.

PREP. during/in a/the~ | ~ about/on Many of these points were raised during the debate on prison reform.