argument Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true
    • it was a strong argument that his hypothesis was true
  2. noun a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement
    contestation; contention; arguing; tilt; controversy; disputation; disceptation.
    • they were involved in a violent argument
  3. noun a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal
    argumentation; debate.
    • the argument over foreign aid goes on and on
  4. noun a summary of the subject or plot of a literary work or play or movie
    literary argument.
    • the editor added the argument to the poem
  5. noun (computer science) a reference or value that is passed to a function, procedure, subroutine, command, or program
  6. noun a variable in a logical or mathematical expression whose value determines the dependent variable; if f(x)=y, x is the independent variable
  7. noun a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning
    argumentation; line; line of reasoning; logical argument.
    • I can't follow your line of reasoning


Ar"gu*ment noun
F. argument, L. argumentum, fr. arguere to argue.
  1. Proof; evidence. Obs.
    There is.. no more palpable and convincing argument of the existence of a Deity. Ray.
    Why, then, is it made a badge of wit and an argument of parts for a man to commence atheist, and to cast off all belief of providence, all awe and reverence for religion? South.
  2. A reason or reasons offered in proof, to induce belief, or convince the mind; reasoning expressed in words; as, an argument about, concerning, or regarding a proposition, for or in favor of it, or against it.
  3. A process of reasoning, or a controversy made up of rational proofs; argumentation; discussion; disputation.
    The argument is about things, but names. Locke.
  4. The subject matter of a discourse, writing, or artistic representation; theme or topic; also, an abstract or summary, as of the contents of a book, chapter, poem.
    You and love are still my argument. Shak.
    The abstract or argument of the piece. Jeffrey.
    [Shields] with boastful argument portrayed. Milton.
  5. Matter for question; business in hand. Obs.
    Sheathed their swords for lack of argument. Shak.
  6. (Astron.) The quantity on which another quantity in a table depends; as, the altitude is the argument of the refraction.
  7. (Math.) The independent variable upon whose value that of a function depends. Brande & C.
Ar"gu*ment intransitive verb
L. argumentari.
  1. To make an argument; to argue. Obs. Gower.

Webster 1913