Definition of devil's advocate in English:

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devil's advocate

Pronunciation: /ˈˌdevəlz ˈadvəkət/


1A person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments: the interviewer will need to play devil’s advocate to put the other side’s case forward
More example sentences
  • When the shopkeeper gave her fruits and vegetables in a paper cover, the officer tried to play the devil's advocate and provoke the seller asking him if it would not be more easy to give it in a plastic cover.
  • What elevates The Making of Henry, what will crush the arguments of the devil's advocate, is the way it talks about love.
  • So let's just say for the sake of argument, playing devil's advocate here, that it's hard to meet people.
1.1 historical The popular title of the person appointed by the Roman Catholic Church to challenge a proposed beatification or canonization, or the verification of a miracle.
Example sentences
  • I like the idea, found in the Western church, of the devil's advocate.
  • The devil's advocates, unlike the admiring artists who did their part to insure for Joan a different kind of immortality, understood her changeability and its implications.
  • Of all those who have tried to understand Joan's life and career, it is only the devil's advocates who have focused in a concerted way on Joan's inconsistencies and erratic behavior.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dev·il's ad·vo·cate

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