v. ar·gued, ar·gu·ing, ar·gues
1. To put forth reasons for or against; debate: "It is time to stop arguing tax-rate reductions and to enact them" (Paul Craig Roberts).
2. To attempt to prove by reasoning; maintain or contend: The speaker argued that more immigrants should be admitted to the country.
3. To give evidence of; indicate: "Similarities cannot always be used to argue descent" (Isaac Asimov).
4. To persuade or influence (another), as by presenting reasons: argued the clerk into lowering the price.
1. To put forth reasons for or against something: argued for dismissal of the case; argued against an immediate counterattack.
2. To engage in a quarrel; dispute: We need to stop arguing and engage in constructive dialogue.
[Middle English arguen, from Old French arguer, from Latin argūtāre, to babble, chatter, frequentative of arguere, to make clear; see arg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: argue, quarrel1, wrangle, squabble, bicker
These verbs denote verbal exchange involving disagreement or conflict. To argue is to present reasons or facts in order to persuade someone of something: "I am not arguing with you—I am telling you" (James McNeill Whistler).
It is also often used of more heated exchanges: The couple argued for hours over who was at fault.
Quarrel denotes angry, often ongoing conflict: The band quarreled with their manager over money.
It can also refer to continuing disputes of a public or professional nature: "Experts still quarrel about the ultimate cause of Alzheimer's [disease]" (Geoffrey Cowley).
Wrangle refers to loud, contentious argument: "audiences ... who can be overheard wrangling about film facts in restaurants and coffee houses" (Sheila Benson).
Squabble and bicker both suggest sharp, persistent, bad-tempered infighting, often of a petty nature: "A nobility of warriors ... they squabbled endlessly on political matters, resolving the problems of dynastic succession with one bloodbath after another" (Carlos Fuentes). The senators bickered about adjustments to the tax proposal for weeks. See Also Synonyms at discuss.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.