Debate De*bate", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Debated; p. pr. & vb. n. Debating.] [OF. debatre, F. d['e]battre; L. de + batuere to beat. See Batter, v. t., and cf. Abate.] 1. To engage in combat for; to strive for. Volunteers . . . thronged to serve under his banner, and the cause of religion was debated with the same ardor in Spain as on the plains of Palestine. --Prescott. 2. To contend for in words or arguments; to strive to maintain by reasoning; to dispute; to contest; to discuss; to argue for and against. A wise council . . . that did debate this business. --Shak. Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself. --Prov. xxv. 9. Syn: To argue; discuss; dispute; controvert. See Argue, and Discuss.