Share this entry

Share this page

argument

Syllabification: ar·gu·ment
Pronunciation: /ˈärɡyəmənt
 
/

Definition of argument in English:

noun

1An exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one: I’ve had an argument with my father heated arguments over public spending there was some argument about the decision
More example sentences
  • I didn't see it but after the debate a few students approached the MP and had a heated argument with her, one guy went so far as to say she wasn't welcome here.
  • Last spring, I got into a heated argument with a bunch of lawyers about judicial activism.
  • The workers had a heated argument with the police a number of times.
Synonyms
2A reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong: there is a strong argument for submitting a formal appeal [with clause]: he rejected the argument that keeping the facility would be costly
More example sentences
  • This supports the defence argument that they were in the possession of the building at all times.
  • However, there are a number of reasons that would support an argument that the move was acceptable.
  • It makes this assertion in support of its argument that a longer sublease would have been easier to market than a shorter sublease.
Synonyms
3 Mathematics An independent variable associated with a function and determining the value of the function. For example, in the expression y = F(x1, x2), the arguments of the function F are x1 and x2, and the value is y.
Example sentences
  • Abel's theorem states that any such sum can be expressed as a fixed number p of these integrals, with integration arguments that are algebraic functions of the original arguments.
  • With Davenport he showed that any real indefinite diagonal quadratic form, in 5 or more variables, takes arbitrarily small values for nonzero integral arguments.
  • I.e., in the equation, x + y = z, x and y are the arguments to the addition function, and z is the value.
3.1 another term for amplitude (sense 4).
3.2 Computing A value or address passed to a procedure or function at the time of call.
Example sentences
  • Density files can be used as functions passed as an argument to the isosurface object.
  • The actual work is done in the story subroutine, which is passed six arguments when invoked by Blosxom, corresponding to a number of items having to do with the entry.
  • Depending on the arguments passed, it can display system power status, or it can be used to initiate system standby/suspend transition.
3.3 Linguistics Any of the noun phrases in a clause that are related directly to the verb, typically the subject, direct object, and indirect object.
Example sentences
  • It does not contain a semantic predicate, either, because the anaphor is not an argument of the verb.
  • Section 3 shows that the operation ARG allows a satisfying analysis of prefixes and particles that introduce new arguments to the verb.
  • This paper focuses on the semantics of implicit arguments and compares it with that of explicit indefinites.
3.4 Logic The middle term in a syllogism.
4 archaic A summary of the subject matter of a book.
Synonyms
theme, topic, subject matter;
summary, synopsis, précis, gist, outline

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'process of reasoning'): via Old French from Latin argumentum, from arguere 'make clear, prove, accuse'.

Phrases

for the sake of argument

1
As a basis for discussion or reasoning.
Example sentences
  • Let us suppose, just for the sake of argument, that some big-time editor reads a self-published novel and decides to offer the writer a two-book contract on the strength of it.
  • Suppose, however, for the sake of argument, that he lied.
  • Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that this guard did in fact stop to think things over carefully.

Definition of argument in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pərt
adjective
lively; cheerful