Argument vs Debate
* Debate: formal, deliberate, opposing views are heard, decision by democratic means (vote)
* Argument: mostly informal, disagree, dispute, can be heated, does not always end in a decision
Argument and debate are two terms that show a good number of differences between them although they appear to be similar in their connotations. A debate is a discussion about a public-related question in an assembly. An argument on the other hand is a discussion characterized by oral disagreement.
A debate is a formal contest wherein speakers from the opposing sides do their best to establish the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition. In short it can be said that a debate is a mere deliberation. An argument on the other hand is a process of reasoning. In short it can be said that an argument is a statement against a point.
It is of course interesting to note that the word ‘debate’ undergoes changes in its meanings when it is used as a verb. It has the sense of ‘to engage in argument or discussion’ when used as a verb without object, as in the sentence, ‘when we stood up and left the room, the two brothers were still debating’. In this sentence, you would find that the object is not used and the word ‘debate’ is used as a verb.
The word ‘debate’ gives the sense of ‘to dispute or disagree about’ when used as a verb with object as in the sentence, ‘the members of the welfare association debated the construction of the building in the junction of roads’. In this sentence you would find the object and the word ‘debate’ is used as a verb.
An argument on the contrary is used in the sense of an address intended to persuade somebody. In other words it can be said that the word ‘argument’ is used to suggest a persuasive discourse. The word ‘argument’ sometimes implies an abstract or a summary of some prose or poetry work.