- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɑːɡjʊmənt/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɑɹɡjʊmənt/, /-ɡju-/, /-ɡjə-/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Hyphenation: ar‧gu‧ment
From Middle English argument, from Anglo-Norman and Old French arguement, from Latin argūmentum (“argument (for a position); evidence, proof; point, theme; thesis, topic; plot (in theatre)”), from arguere + -mentum (suffix indicating the instrument, medium, or result of something). Arguere is the present active infinitive of arguō (“to argue, assert, declare; to make clear, prove, show; to accuse, charge with, reprove; to blame, censure; to denounce as false”), either ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂erǵ- (“silver, white; glittering”), or from Hittite [script needed] (arkuwā(i)-, “to make a plea, state one’s case”). The English word is analysable as argue + -ment. Doublet of argumentum.
- (countable, also figuratively) A fact or statement used to support a proposition; a reason.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:argument
- 1691, John Ray, “Psalm 104. 24. How Manifold are thy Works O Lord? In Wisdom hast thou made them all.”, in The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation. […], London: […] Samuel Smith, […], OCLC 1179804186, pages 11–12:
- There is no greater, at leaſt no more palpable and convincing Argument of the Exiſtence of a Deity than the admirable Art and Wiſdom that diſcovers itſelf in the make and conſtitution, the order and diſpoſition, the ends and uſes of all the parts and members of this ſtately fabrick of Heaven and Earth.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, “Stubb’s Supper”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, pages 446–447:
- Says Plowdon [i.e., Edmund Plowden], the whale so caught belongs to the King and Queen, “because of its superior excellence.” And by the soundest commentators this has ever been held a cogent argument in such matters.
- (logic, philosophy) A series of propositions organized so that the final proposition is a conclusion which is intended to follow logically from the preceding propositions, which function as premises.
- 2001, Mark Sainsbury, “Validity”, in Logical Forms: An Introduction to Philosophical Logic, 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Blackwell Publishing, →ISBN, § 8, page 35:
- Consider the argument: / 15) I am hungry; therefore I am hungry. / Intuitively this should count as valid. But suppose we thought of the components of arguments as sentences, and suppose we imagine the context shifting between the utterance of the premise and the utterance of the conclusion. Suppose you are hungry and utter the premise, and I am not hungry and utter the conclusion. Then we would have a true premise and a false conclusion, so the argument would not be valid. Clearly we need to avoid such problems, and introducing the notion of a proposition, in the style of this section, is one way of doing so.
- 2011 July 20, Edwin Mares, “Propositional Functions”, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, fall 2011 edition, archived from the original on 7 August 2020:
- In ‘The Critic of Arguments’ (1892), [Charles Sanders] Peirce adopts a notion that is even closer to that of a propositional function. There he develops the concept of the ‘rhema’. He says the rhema is like a relative term, but it is not a term. It contains a copula, that is, when joined to the correct number of arguments it produces an assertion. For example, ‘__ is bought by __ from __ for __’ is a four-place rhema. Applying it to four objects a, b, c, and d produces the assertion that a is bought by b from c for d […].
- (countable) A process of reasoning; argumentation.
- 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: […], London: […] Nath[aniel] Ponder […], OCLC 228725984; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress as Originally Published by John Bunyan: Being a Fac-simile Reproduction of the First Edition, London: Elliot Stock […], 1875, OCLC 222146756, page 84:
- Indeed, I cannot commend my life; for I am conſcious to my ſelf of many failings: therein, I know alſo that a man by his converſation, may ſoon overthrow what by argument or perſwaſion he doth labour to faſten upon others for their good: […]
- 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], “Of the Remedies of the foregoing Imperfections and Abuses”, in An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. […], London: […] Eliz[abeth] Holt, for Thomas Basset, […], OCLC 153628242, book III, § 6, page 252:
- For if the Idea be not agreed on, betwixt the Speaker and Hearer, for which the Words ſtand, the Argument is not about Things, but Names.
- 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter I, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. […], volume II, London: […] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744, page 146:
- I shuddered when I thought of the possible consequences of my consent; but I felt that there was some justice in his argument.
- 2016 October 2, Nick Cohen, “Liberal Guilt Won’t Fight Nationalism”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 195, number 17 (30 September – 6 October 2016), London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0959-3608, OCLC 1060180436, page 21, column 3:
- Meanwhile, the authoritarianism, which has turned left-liberalism into a movement for sneaks and prudes, was always going to play into the hands of the right. Free citizens have stopped listening to those who respond to the challenge of argument by screaming for the police to arrest the politically incorrect or for universities to ban speakers who depart from leftish orthodoxy.
- (countable) An abstract or summary of the content of a literary work such as a book, a poem or a major section such as a chapter, included in the work before the content itself; (figuratively) the contents themselves.
- c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 84, column 2:
- If I would broach the veſſels of my loue, / And try the argument of hearts, by borrowing, / Men, and mens fortunes, could I frankely vſe / As I can bid thee ſpeake.
- (countable) A verbal dispute; a quarrel.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:dispute
- The neighbours got into an argument about the branches of the trees that extended over the fence.
- c. 1595–1596 (date written), W. Shakespere [i.e., William Shakespeare], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie Called, Loues Labors Lost. […] (First Quarto), London: […] W[illiam] W[hite] for Cut[h]bert Burby, published 1598, OCLC 61366361; republished as Shakspere’s Loves Labours Lost (Shakspere-Quarto Facsimiles; no. 5), London: W[illiam] Griggs, […], , OCLC 1154977408, [Act III, scene i]:
- Ar[mado]. Come hither, come hither: How did this argument begin.
Boy. By ſaying that a Coſtard was broken in a ſhin,
Then cald you for the Lenuoy [i.e. l'envoy].
Clow[ne; i.e., Costard]. True, and I for a Plantan, thus came your argument in,
Then the boyes fat Lenuoy, the Gooſe that you bought, and he ended the market.
- (by extension, humorous or euphemistic) Any dispute, altercation, or collision.
- Steve got in a physical argument with his neighbor and came away with a black eye.
- While biking home, he got in an argument with the pavement.
- 2022 January 26, John Crosse, “When the tide turned to a safer railway...”, in RAIL, number 949, page 52, photo caption:
- D5131 has received extensive cab damage, having been in an argument with Class 37 D6855 at Inverness in August 1971 - one of two accidents that occurred there on August 20.
- (countable, linguistics) Any of the phrases that bears a syntactic connection to the verb of a clause.
- 1988, Andrew Radford, “The Lexicon”, in Transformational Grammar: A First Course (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press, published 1999, →ISBN, section 7.10 (Thematic Relations), pages 372–373:
- In numerous works over the past two decades, beginning with the pioneering work of Gruber (1965), Fillmore (1968a), and Jackendoff (1972), it has been argued that each Argument (i.e. Subject or Complement) of a Predicate bears a particular thematic role (alias theta-role, or θ-role to its Predicate), and that the set of thematic functions which Arguments can fulfil are drawn from a highly restricted, finite, universal set.
- (countable, mathematics)
- (countable, programming)
- A value, or a reference to a value, passed to a function.
- A parameter at a function call; an actual parameter, as opposed to a formal parameter.
- (countable, obsolete)
- A matter in question; a business in hand.
- 1595 December 9 (first known performance), [William Shakespeare], The Tragedie of King Richard the Second. […] (First Quarto), London: […] Valentine Simmes for Androw Wise, […], published 1597, OCLC 213833262, [Act I, scene i]:
- As neere as I could ſift him on that argument,
On ſome apparent danger ſeene in him,
Aimde at your highnes, no inueterate malice.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene i], page 77, column 2:
- On, on, you Nobliſh Engliſh, / Whoſe blood is fet from Fathers of Warre-proofe: / Fathers, that like ſo many Alexanders, / Haue in theſe parts from Morne till Euen fought, / And ſheath’d their Swords, for lack of argument.
- The subject matter of an artistic representation, discourse, or writing; a theme or topic.
- 1570, Margaret Ascham, “To the Honorable Sir William Cecill Knight, Principall Secretarie to the Quenes Most Excellent Maiestie”, in Roger Ascham; Margaret Ascham, editor, The Scholemaster: Or Plaine and Perfite Way of Teaching Children, to Vnderstand, Write, and Speake, the Latin Tong, […], London: […] John Daye, […], OCLC 228713506:
- [I]n vttering the ſtuffe ye receiued of the one, in declaring the order ye tooke with the other, ye ſhall neuer lacke, neither matter, nor maner, what to write, nor how to write in this kinde of Argument.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book VI”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 81–86:
- [N]earer view / Briſtl'd with upright beams innumerable / Of rigid Spears, and Helmets throng'd, and Shields / Various, with boaſtful Argument portraid, / The banded Powers of Satan haſting on / With furious expedition; […]
- 1844, Francis Jeffrey, “Sardanapalus, a Tragedy. The Two Foscari, a Tragedy. Cain, a Mystery. By Lord Byron. 8vo. pp. 440. Murray, London: 1822. [book review]”, in Contributions to the Edinburgh Review. […], volume II, 2nd edition, London: […] [Andrew Spottiswoode] for Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, […], OCLC 612122, part III (Poetry), page 357:
- The abstract, or argument of the piece, is shortly as follows.
- A matter in question; a business in hand.
- (uncountable, archaic) Evidence, proof; (countable) an item of such evidence or proof.
- 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, Much Adoe about Nothing. […], quarto edition, London: […] V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, OCLC 932921146, [Act II, scene iii]:
- [F]or louing me, by my troth it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her follie, for I will be horribly in loue with her, […]
- Adjectives often used with argument: valid, invalid, correct, incorrect, right, wrong, strong, weak, convincing, unconvincing, conclusive, inconclusive, fallacious, simple, straightforward, inductive, deductive, logical, illogical, absurd, specious, flawed.
- (parameter at a function call): some authors regard the use of argument to mean “formal parameter” to be imprecise, preferring that argument be used to refer only to the value that is used to instantiate the parameter at runtime, while parameter refers only to the name in the function definition that will be instantiated.
- arguement (obsolete)
- argument form
- argument from design
- argument from ignorance
- argument from illusion
- argument from silence
- circular argument
- cosmological argument
- diagonal argument
- etymological argument
- homunculus argument
- mud pie argument
- ontological argument
- opening argument
- oral argument
- position argument
- private language argument
- see an argument
- sticky bead argument
- teleological argument
- violinist argument
The obsolete senses are derived from Middle English argumenten (“to argue, discuss; to consider, reflect”), from Old French argumenter (“to argue”), from Latin argūmentārī, the present active infinitive of argūmentor (“to adduce arguments or proof, prove, reason; to adduce (something) as argument or proof; to conclude”), from argūmentum (“argument (for a position); evidence, proof; point, theme; thesis, topic; plot (in theatre)”) (see further at etymology 1) + -or (the first-person singular present passive indicative of -ō (suffix forming regular first-conjugation verbs)).
The current sense is derived from the noun.
- (intransitive, obsolete, now nonstandard, non-native speakers' English) To put forward as an argument; to argue.
- 1607, Edward Topsell, “Of the Elephant”, in The Historie of Fovre-footed Beastes. […], London: […] William Iaggard, OCLC 912897215, page 194:
- [I]t is moſt certaine, that after Herodotus and other auncient writers, it is ſafer to call theſe [elephants' tusks] teeth, then hornes; and I will breefly ſet downe the reaſons of Philoſtratus, that will haue them to be teeth, and afterward of Grapaldus [i.e., Francesco Mario Grapaldi], Aelianus, and Pauſanias, that would make them horns, and ſo leaue the reader to conſider whether opinion he thinketh moſt agreeable to truth. […] Thus they argument for the horns of Elephants.
- 1637, [George Gillespie], “That the Ceremonies are Unlawfull, because They are Monuments of By-past Idolatry, […]”, in A Dispvte against the English-Popish Ceremonies Obtrvded vpon the Chvrch of Scotland. […], [Leiden: […] W. Christiaens], OCLC 607621290, 3rd part (Against the Lavvfulnesse of the Ceremonies), section 15, page 29:
- , attributed to Thomas Augustine Arne, “Preface”, in Artaxerxes. An English Opera. […], London: […] J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson […], OCLC 316421816:
- […] And Lord Lanſdown, in his Preface to the Britiſh Enchanters, exclaims againſt that Species of Dramatic Dialogue, which (inſtead of being free, natural, and eaſy, as Converſation ſhould be) is preciſe, or formal, argumenting pro and con, like Diſputants in a School; […]
- a. 1848, Thomas Chalmers, “Introductory Essay to a Treatise on the Faith and Influence of the Gospel. By the Rev. Archibald Hall.”, in Miscellanies; Embracing Reviews, Essays, and Addresses, New York, N.Y.: Robert Carter & Brothers, […], published 1851, OCLC 798259252, page 416:
- But, can this be alleged of him who has oft been heard to speak of faith and of works together—and who, after argumenting the utter worthlessness of the latter, has confined most rigidly to the former all of power and of efficacy that there is in the business of salvation?
- 1869, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XIX, in The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims’ Progress; […], Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company. […], OCLC 35710691, page 190:
- Here, in Milan, is an ancient tumble-down ruin of a church, is the mournful wreck of the most celebrated painting in the world—"The Last Supper," by Leonardo da Vinci. […] And the first thing that occurred was the infliction on us of a placard fairly reeking with wretched English. […] And then Peter is described as "argumenting in a threatening and angrily condition at Judas Iscariot."
- 1993, Andreas Gourmelon, “A Method to Analyse the Strain of Memory of Elderly Persons Working with Information Technologies”, in E. Ballabio, I. Placencia-Porrero, and R. Puig de la Bellacasa, editors, Rehabilitation Technology: Strategies for the European Union: […] (Technology and Informatics; 9), Amsterdam; Oxford, Oxfordshire: IOS Press, →ISBN, ISSN 0926-9630, page 211:
- It may be argumented that many elderly persons stay at home and do not even try to use a ticket machine.
- 1999, Bernd A. Neubauer; Ulrich Stephani; Hermann Doose, “The Genetics of Rolandic Epilepsy and Related Conditions: Multifactorial Inheritance with a Major Gene Effect”, in S[amuel] F[rank] Berkovic, P. Genton, E. Hirsch, and F. Picard, editor, Genetics of Focal Epilepsies: Clinical Aspects and Molecular Biology (Current Problems in Epilepsy; 13), London: John Libbey & Company, →ISBN, ISSN 0950-4591, part II (The Idiopathic Age-related Focal Epilepsies), page 57:
- This was first enunciated by Loiseau et al. (1967) when he argumented that RE 'does not exist' in clinical practice, referring to its pure, typical form.
- 2012, Harry Fokkens, “Background to Dutch Beakers: A Critical Review of the Dutch Model”, in Harry Fokkens and Franco Nicolis, editors, Background to Beakers: Inquiries into Regional Cultural Backgrounds of the Bell Beaker Complex, Leiden: Sidestone Press, →ISBN, abstract, page 9:
- The settlement data do in fact not support the Dutch Model, and it is argumented that the ¹⁴C-evidence for the model is absent as well.
- 2013, Daniel Gurski, “Conclusion”, in Customer Experiences Affect Customer Loyalty: An Empirical Investigation of the Starbucks Experience Using Structural Equation Modeling, Hamburg: Anchor Compact, Anchor Academic Publishing, →ISBN, page 45:
- Although it is argumented that organizational learning is based on individual learning (Song et al., 2008), the insights from this study are not generalizable for business-to-business markets.
- (intransitive, obsolete) To adduce evidence, to provide proof.
- 1558, Quintine Kennedy [i.e., Quintin Kennedy], chapter 5, in Ane Compendius Tractiue Conforme to the Scripturis of Almychtie God, Ressoun, and Authoritie, […], [Edinburgh: J. Scot], OCLC 1049058313, signature C.ii.:
- Albeit that it apperteneth to the apoſtolis, be the puiſtoun of God to tak ordour in all materis off debait cõcernyng ye faith, & ſpecialie to iterprete ye ſcripturis, as yat quhilkis had yͤ ſpreit of god, & wer yͤ trew kirk: It argumẽtis [argumentis] not yat vtheris, quha hes ꝯuenit [conuenit] ſenſyne in generale ꝯſales [consales] had the ſpreit of GOD, or wer the trew kirk: […]
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||argument, argumentest†||argumented, argumentedst†|
|3rd-person singular||arguments, argumenteth†||argumented|
- ^ “argūment, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “argument, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021; “argument, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “argūmenten, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “† argument, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021.
- argument on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- argument of a function on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- argument (literature) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- argument (linguistics) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- argument (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- argument at OneLook Dictionary Search
- argument in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- argument in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- argument in Britannica Dictionary
- argument in Macmillan Collocations Dictionary
- argument in Sentence collocations by Cambridge Dictionary
- argument in Ozdic collocation dictionary
- argument in WordReference English Collocations
- (Balearic) IPA(key): /əɾ.ɡuˈment/
- (Central) IPA(key): /ər.ɡuˈmen/
- (Valencian) IPA(key): /aɾ.ɡuˈment/
argument m (plural arguments)
- “argument” in Diccionari de la llengua catalana, segona edició, Institut d’Estudis Catalans.
- “argument”, in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana, 2022
- “argument” in Diccionari normatiu valencià, Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua.
- “argument” in Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Antoni Maria Alcover and Francesc de Borja Moll, 1962.
- argument (fact or statement used to support a proposition)
- parametr m
- argument in Příruční slovník jazyka českého, 1935–1957
- argument in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989
- An argument (fact or statement used to support a proposition).
- (mathematics) An argument (independent variable of a function).
- (programming) An argument (value or reference passed to a function).
- (linguistics) An argument (any of the phrases that bears a syntactic connection to the verb of a clause).
- (obsolete) A decision.
- (obsolete) A subject matter, theme or topic.
- (obsolete) A quarrel, a dispute, an argument.
- Afrikaans: argument
argument m (plural arguments)
- Quels que soient les arguments que vous avancez, je ne pourrai pas vous croire.
- No matter what arguments you propose, I won't be able to believe you.
- (grammar) argument of a verb, phrase syntactically connected to a verb (object and subject)
- (grammar): valence
- “argument”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
argument m (plural argumenti)
- “argument” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
- “argument” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
argument m inan (diminutive argumencik)
- (literary) point, argument (fact or statement used to support a proposition)
- (philosophy, logic, mathematics, programming) argument
- argument in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
- argument in Polish dictionaries at PWN
argument n (plural argumente)
argùment m (Cyrillic spelling аргу̀мент)
- argument (fact or statement used to support a proposition)
- (philosophy, logic, mathematics, programming) argument
- an argument supporting a stance
- (mathematics) an argument; an independent variable passed to a function
- (programming) an argument; a variable passed to a function
|Declension of argument|