Argument Ar"gu*ment, n. [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.
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
7. (Math.) The independent variable upon whose value that of
a function depends. --Brande & C.