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Debater   /dəbˈeɪtər/   Listen
Debater

noun
1.
Someone who engages in debate.  Synonym: arguer.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Debater" Quotes from Famous Books



... some years represented the free-trade cause in Parliament, and Bright and Cobden did its work on the platform. Cobden first, and Bright after him, became members of the House of Commons, and they were further assisted there by Milner Gibson, a man of position and family, an effective debater, who had been at first a Conservative, but who passed over to the ranks of the Free Traders, and through them to the ranks ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... the solemnity and importance of the question. We regret we cannot say the same of Dr. Berg, who at times seemed to forget the obligations of the gentleman, in his zeal as a controversialist. He is an able and skilful debater, though less logical than Mr. Barker; but he wasted his time and strength too often on personalities and irrelevant matters. His personal inuendoes and offensive epithets, his coarse witticisms and ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... itself, their colours and traits, their forms and substance, their lights and shadows. A painter following exactly what he portrays, would make a glorious gallery of landscapes. He is, moreover, a charming poet, an eloquent debater, and has written many able and important works on politics; yet we never recollect, during the last twenty years, to have heard his name mentioned in English society except once, when an old and caustic, but most able judge, now no more, said, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844 • Various

... of Halifax, as Ranger of Bushey Park and Hampton Court, held many offices under William III., and was First Lord of the Treasury under George I., until his death in 1715. He was great as financier and as debater, and he was a liberal ...
— The Journal to Stella • Jonathan Swift

... his official career. History was his favourite study; he never attempted, like some statesmen, to write; but if his knowledge of history was not as profound as that of a professed historian, he was afterwards to shew as a parliamentary debater that he had a truer perception of the importance of events than many great scholars who have devoted their lives to historical research, and he was never at a loss for an illustration to explain and justify the policy he had assumed. For natural science ...
— Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire • James Wycliffe Headlam

... indulged, if he did indulge, his bachelor mal-practices. Speaking of them as a set, the chief offender was Mr. Harold Smith, or perhaps his wife. He also was a member of Parliament, and, as many thought, a rising man. His father had been for many years a debater in the House, and had held high office. Harold, in early life, had intended himself for the Cabinet; and if working hard at his trade could ensure success, he ought to obtain it sooner or later. He had already filled more than one subordinate station, had been at the Treasury, ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... Marshall's handling of the case the consummate debater came to the assistance of the political strategist. Every one of his arguments in this opinion in support of judicial review will be found anticipated in the debate on the Repeal Act. What Marshall did was ...
— John Marshall and the Constitution - A Chronicle of the Supreme Court, Volume 16 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Edward S. Corwin

... SON AUSTEN successfully faced the ordeal. After DON JOSE'S withdrawal from the scene his son's advance to a leading place in the councils of his party and the estimation of the House was rapid. Within limits of present Session he has shown increased power as a debater, promising attainment of still loftier heights. Ever courteous in manner, untainted by the "new style" deplored by PREMIER, he, though an uncompromising party man, has made no personal enemies among any section of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 22, 1914 • Various

... his opinions. Judge Douglas, however, had taken the edge off my hostility. He had said to me upon his return in triumph to Washington after the famous Illinois campaign of 1868: "Lincoln is a good man; in fact, a great man, and by far the ablest debater I have ever met," and now the newcomer began to verify this opinion both in his private conversation ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... debaters, like the animal reconstructed, as Bret Harte relates, before "The Society on the Stanislaw," are "extremely rare." This is because the great debater must have a number of accomplishments any one of which requires something very closely ...
— The Art of Lecturing - Revised Edition • Arthur M. (Arthur Morrow) Lewis

... was at its height, when suddenly a fearful peal of subterranean thunder roared around the Althing. "Listen!" cried an orator of the Pagan party; "how angry is Odin that we should even consider the subject of a new religion. His fires will consume us." To which a ready debater on the other side replied, by "begging leave to ask the honourable gentleman,—with whom were the gods angry when these rocks were melted?"—pointing to the devastated plain around him. Taking advantage of so good a hit, the Treasury "whips" ...
— Letters From High Latitudes • The Marquess of Dufferin (Lord Dufferin)

... opulent widows. Yet Burnet, though open in many respects to ridicule, and even to serious censure, was no contemptible man. His parts were quick, his industry unwearied, his reading various and most extensive. He was at once a historian, an antiquary, a theologian, a preacher, a pamphleteer, a debater, and an active political leader; and in every one of these characters made himself conspicuous among able competitors. The many spirited tracts which he wrote on passing events are now known only to the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... bold in opinion, ingenious in solution, and with a tendency to metaphysical speculation, which, modified by the active wants and duties of a large city-practice, would have made him a subtle lawyer, and a very logical debater. But the blush kept heightening on the youth's cheeks as the examination proceeded. He had answered, but he felt all the while how much his answer had sprung from his own conjectures and how little from his authorities. The ...
— Charlemont • W. Gilmore Simms

... at that particular time, was a crushing blow to southern Republicans. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Senator Alcorn was a man suitable in every way for the office of Postmaster-General. He had a commanding presence, he was an eloquent speaker, and an able debater,—by nature a leader and not a follower. He had taken an active part in the politics of his state before and after the War. After he identified himself with the Republican party he was ambitious to be chiefly instrumental in building ...
— The Facts of Reconstruction • John R. Lynch

... Burke, "of being obliged to stand upon my defence by the right honorable gentleman, who, when a young man, was brought to me and evinced the most promising talents, which I used my best endeavors to cultivate; and this man, who has arrived at the maturity of being the most brilliant and powerful debater that ever existed, has described me as having deserted and abandoned every one of my principles!" Fox replied, but alluded to Burke no longer as "friend", but as "the right honorable gentleman", and said, in a taunting style, that "all he ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... and the famine in Ireland—he opened the ports, and repealed the Corn-laws forever, to the consternation of the world, and in opposition to all the opinions of his life; this was in 1845. Since that period Sir R. Peel has been in Opposition, indeed, but not its leader so much as a distinguished debater, an accomplished financier, and the expositor of opinions which neither the Whigs nor Tories ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... reflect that among his contemporary admirers Dale was credited with an intellect of unusual clarity, for the examination of any of his plays impresses one with the number and mutual destructiveness of his motives for artistic expression. A noted debater, he made frequent use of the device of attacking the weakness of the other man's speech, rather than the weakness of the other man's argument. His prose was good, though at its best so impersonal that it recalled the manner of ...
— The Ghost Ship • Richard Middleton

... give all the important information they contained. He made himself an excellent English scholar, and before he was twenty years of age was a constant contributor to Western newspapers, and was also, from that time until he was fifty years old, an able debater in the societies for this purpose, which were common in the West at that time. He always took an active part in politics, but was never a candidate for office, except, I believe, that he was the first Mayor of Georgetown. He supported Jackson for the Presidency; but ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... wielded for the destruction of the Black Battalion by the formidable occupant of the executive mansion was met and matched, ay, overmatched again and again by an omnipotence in discussion which a just cause and genius as orator, lawyer, and debater of the first rank could alone have put into the strong right arm of the brave redresser of a race's wrongs on the floor of the Senate. For more than two years he carried the case of the Black Battalion in his big and tireless brain, in his big and gentle heart, as ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... is that Secretaries of State, Managers of Colonial Establishments, of Home and Foreign Government interests, have really and truly to do in Parliament, might admit of various estimate in these times. An apt debater in Parliament is by no means certain to be an able administrator of Colonies, of Home or Foreign Affairs; nay, rather quite the contrary is to be presumed of him; for in order to become a "brilliant speaker," if that is his character, ...
— Latter-Day Pamphlets • Thomas Carlyle

... is a fine platform speaker, but as yet he is not nearly as good a debater as Mr. Chamberlain. He stumbles, hesitates, finds it hard often to get the exact word he wants. And yet who cannot listen to him for ten minutes without a sense of a great mind—and what to me is better, a fine character behind it all? This ...
— Sketches In The House (1893) • T. P. O'Connor

... in memory of the efforts he made on their behalf, a fine group in bronze of a female figure—"Greece" throwing off the bonds of Turkey. Some of the speakers were very interesting. He found Schouvaloff always a brilliant debater—he spoke French perfectly, was always good-humoured and courteous, and defended his cause well. One felt there was a latent animosity between the English and the Russians. Lord Beaconsfield made one or two strong speeches—very much to the point, and slightly arrogant, but as ...
— My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 • Mary King Waddington

... was not a bed of roses. "The premiership had for twelve years been a bed of slumber; it now fell into the hands of one who made it a bed of feverish anxiety and bitter wakefulness,—George Canning, the first debater, the most dexterous politician, and the happiest wit of the house; the most perplexed, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... the typical man of that generation, both the victim and the hero of his time—a man who is almost a Titan in word and a pigmy in deed. He is eloquent as a young Demosthenes. An irresistible debater, he carries everything before him the moment he appears. But he fails ignominiously when put to the hard test of action. Yet he is not an impostor. His enthusiasm is contagious because it is sincere, and his eloquence is convincing because devotion to his ideals is an absorbing passion with ...
— Rudin • Ivan Turgenev

... character was absolutely irreproachable. His information was exact, large, and always ready for use. His speeches had ease, order, correctness, and point. With the West he was particularly strong, an element of availability which Cleveland lacked. In the Senate he had won renown both as a debater and as a sane adviser. As a consistent protectionist he favored restriction upon Chinese immigration and prohibition against the importation of contract labor. He upheld all efforts for reform in the civil service ...
— History of the United States, Volume 5 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... willingness to adopt the opinion of which he had demonstrated the harmlessness. So he begged his enfeebled antagonist to re-state it, which she incautiously did. No sooner, however, had the superior debater heard it for the second time than he resumed his intolerance, and made an end of that ...
— Cobwebs From an Empty Skull • Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)

... North was irreproachable; as a debater, he displayed some valuable qualities—patience and endurance, facility of resources on occasions of emergency, great calmness and courage, and a playful wit, which never startled by its brilliancy, but seldom failed of its point. He betrayed no ostentation or vainglory in ...
— Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2) • The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... in the clothes you are wearing?" The Commandant, as any one in the Council of Twelve could tell you, was no debater; yet sometimes he had been known to triumph even in debate, by sheer simplicity. "The only course that I can see," he continued, "is to seek some private house, ...
— Major Vigoureux • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... his companions, who find themselves one day giving too much, and the next, when they are wary out of season, giving perhaps too little. Purcel is in another class from any I have mentioned. He is no debater, but appears in conversation, as occasion rises, in two distinct characters, one of which I admire and fear, and the other love. In the first, he is radiantly civil and rather silent, sits on a high, courtly hilltop, and from that vantage-ground drops ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... with one another to keep him abroad. The vice-royalty of India followed almost automatically; he spent two years as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to oblige his party leaders and was now in the full vigour of middle age with nothing to do. The House of Lords offered no opportunity to an incurably bad debater; and the radicals by destroying the constitution, bullying the king and playing with revolution had made it a place of arid pomp, whose futility took away something of a man's dignity every time that he went there. Nevertheless, once a viceroy, always a viceroy, ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... his life, probably, Washington never heard praise more genuine or more deserved. He had just passed his twenty-seventh year. In the House of Burgesses he had the reputation of being the silent member. He never acquired the art of a debater. He was neither quick at rebuttal nor at repartee, but so surely did his character impress itself on every one that when he spoke the Assembly almost took it for granted that he had said the final word on the subject under discussion. How careful he was to observe the scope and effects ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... obstruct the public business; but still they might attack persons, though not things. Pitt undertook the difficult task of silencing Murray, the attorney-general, the ablest man, as well as the ablest debater, in the House of Commons; whilst Fox entertained himself with the less dangerous amusement of exposing Sir Thomas Robinson, or rather assisted him whilst he turned himself into ridicule; for Sir Thomas, though a good secretary ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... The other was Mr Mackenzie's high-minded but mistaken idea of his duty. Somewhat lacking in imagination though he was, Alexander Mackenzie had in him the stuff out of which party leaders are made. He was a man of vigour and ability, a hard-hitting debater, a thoroughgoing democrat, and he had a well-earned reputation for downright frankness and unswerving honesty which could easily have rallied the country's trust and affection. But while prime minister he ...
— The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - A Chronicle of Our Own Time • Oscar D. Skelton

... statement of the opener, and remain at least through the chief speech in reply. They might not attend all through the inferior and desultory speaking, but they would be ready to pop in when an able debater was on his legs, and they would hear the leaders wind up at the close. Such, however, is not the theory acted on by the whips. They are satisfied if they can procure attendance at the division, and look upon the many hours spent in the debate as an insignificant accessory, ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... India, held office outside the cabinet as chief secretary for Ireland. Spencer Perceval was a half-brother of the Earl of Egmont and brother of Lord Arden. He enjoyed a large practice at the bar and had made his mark as a parliamentary debater when filling the offices, first of solicitor-general, and then of attorney-general under Addington. He had held the latter office again under Pitt. Not the least source of his influence was his steady and determined opposition to the Roman ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... Royal Council, and, before the outbreak of the Revolution, had acquired a reputation not only as a brilliant young lawyer, but also as a man of liberal tastes, fond of books, and happy in his domestic life. Like Mirabeau, he was a person of powerful physique and of stentorian voice, a skilled debater and a convincing orator; unlike Mirabeau, he himself remained calm and self-possessed while arousing his audiences to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. Like Mirabeau, too, he was not so primarily interested in the welfare of his own social class as in that of the class below ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... to defending the Constitution before the hostile convention at Poughkeepsie, he had before him as arduous a task as ever fell to the lot of a parliamentary debater. It was a case where political management was out of the question. The opposition were too numerous to be silenced, or cajoled, or bargained with. They must be converted. With an eloquence scarcely equalled ...
— The Critical Period of American History • John Fiske

... 1804, he repaired to the famous Law School at Litchfield in Connecticut, where he remained a year and a half, and won general esteem. Tradition reports him a diligent student and an admirable debater there. As to his moral conduct, that was always irreproachable. That is to say, he was at every period of his life continent, temperate, orderly, and out of debt. In 1806, being then twenty-four years of age, he returned to South ...
— Famous Americans of Recent Times • James Parton

... priests, they ventured no farther than expostulation. "We shall lose our voices," said they, "if we lose our complement of lentils; and then, most reverend lords, what will ye do for choristers?" Finally, one of grand dimensions, who seemed almost half-human, imposed silence on every debater. He lay stretched out apart from his brethren, covering with his side the greater portion of a noble dunghill, and all its verdure native and imported. He crushed a few measures of peascods to cool his tusks; then turned his pleasurable ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... the shaven lips and chin finely chiselled. The whole suggestion is of a character self-absorbed and contemplative. He was short and sturdy in build, and in his sober dress and grave deportments, suggested rather the dissenting preacher than the prophet of philosophic anarchism. He was not a ready debater or a fluent talker. His genius was not spontaneous or intuitive. It was rather an elaborate effort of the will, which deliberately used the fruits of his accumulative study and incessant activity of mind. He resembled, says Hazlitt, who admired ...
— Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle • H. N. Brailsford

... Democracy of the House," was the comment of John Quincy Adams; words of high praise, for the veteran statesman had little patience with the style of oratory affected by this "homunculus."[168] A correspondent of a Richmond newspaper wrote that this effort had given Douglas high rank as a debater.[169] Evidence on every hand confirms the impression that by a single, happy stroke the young Illinoisan had achieved enviable distinction; but whether he had qualities which would secure an enduring reputation, was still ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... President, the Senator from Oregon is a very adroit debater, and he discovers, of course, the great advantage he would have if I were to allow him, occupying the floor, to ask me a series of questions, and then have his own criticisms made on them. When he has closed his speech, if I deem it necessary, I will make some reply. ...
— American Eloquence, Volume IV. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... for his primary relations with truth, as I understand truth,—not for any secondary artifice in handling his ideas. Some of the sharpest men in argument are notoriously unsound in judgment. I should not trust the counsel of a smart debater, any more than that of a good chess-player. Either may of course advise wisely, but not necessarily because ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... debaters, though a little, slim, insignificant-looking person, sent a messenger up into this county and challenged the opposition to debate with him. They didn't quite like the idea, but they were too proud to decline, so they put up their best debater, a big, good-natured man whom everybody was familiar with as "Tom," and it was arranged that Massey should have the first hour and that Tom Whatever-his-name-was should succeed him the next hour. When the ...
— The New Freedom - A Call For the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People • Woodrow Wilson

... make a right, but the veritable thing in dispute is whether taking the life of a life-taker is a wrong. So naked and unashamed an example of petitio principii would disgrace a debater in a pinafore. And these wonder-mongers have the incredible effrontery to babble of "logic"! Why, if one of them were to meet a syllogism in a lonely road he would run away in a hundred and fifty directions ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... Scotsman by birth. Like Sir John Macdonald, too, he had emigrated to Canada at an early age and had settled first at Kingston, subsequently removing to Sarnia. In 1861 he entered parliament as member for Lambton, and took rank from the first as a strong and effective debater on the side of the Opposition. In office he proved a capable administrator of unimpeachable integrity, with a remarkable capacity for labour. It could not be said of him, however, that he possessed the essential qualities ...
— The Day of Sir John Macdonald - A Chronicle of the First Prime Minister of the Dominion • Joseph Pope

... bellicose traits visible in the hands of the two warriors Lord Napier of Magdala and Sir Bartle Frere. Both bespeak firmness, hardihood, and command, just as Lord Brougham's hand, which will be found represented on the next page, suggest the jurist, orator, and debater. But it can scarcely be said that the great musician is apparent in Liszt's hand, which is also depicted on the following page. The fingers are short and corpulent, and the whole extremity seems more at ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 26, February 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... debater never rose to heights of eloquence. His thorough and practical mind enabled him to study, sift, and give form and substance to the broad political and economic conceptions of more idealistic men. Inheriting ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... became the undisputed leader of the plantation interests of the South, and few men were better fitted for the great commission. A keen and able debater and an enthusiastic Southerner, a combination in himself of the up-country ideals and the low-country purposes, he had become the idol of South Carolina. Conciliatory in manner and pure in all his public and private life, he won the respect and friendship of the best men in the North, like ...
— Expansion and Conflict • William E. Dodd



Words linked to "Debater" :   devil's advocate, eristic, disputant, wrangler, confuter, controversialist, debate, refuter, rebutter, arguer, disprover



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