devil's advocate

devil's advocate
noun Etymology: translation of New Latin advocatus diaboli Date: 1760 1. a Roman Catholic official whose duty is to examine critically the evidence on which a demand for beatification or canonization rests 2. a person who champions the less accepted cause for the sake of argument

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • devil's advocate — n someone who pretends to disagree with you in order to have a good discussion about something ▪ He would play devil s advocate with anyone …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • devil's advocate — noun play/be devil s advocate to pretend to disagree with someone in order to start an argument or interesting discussion …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • devil's advocate — 1760, translating L. advocatus diaboli, one whose job it is to urge against the canonization of a candidate for sainthood. [F]ar from being the whitewasher of the wicked, the [devil s advocate] is the blackener of the good. [Fowler] …   Etymology dictionary

  • devil's advocate — If someone plays Devil s advocate in an argument, they adopt a position they don t believe in just for the sake of the argument …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • devil's advocate — n. [transl. of ML advocatus diaboli] 1. R.C.Ch. an official selected to examine the facts critically and raise objections in the case of a dead person named for beatification or canonization 2. a person who upholds what is regarded as the wrong… …   English World dictionary

  • Devil's Advocate — • A title given to an officer of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, established in 1587, by Sixtus V, to deal juridically with processes of beatification and canonization Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • devil's advocate — is someone who argues against a proposition or belief in order to test it. It should not be used to mean someone who supports a bad or wicked cause. Its origin lies in the Roman Catholic official (in Latin advocatus diaboli) who tests the case… …   Modern English usage

  • devil’s advocate — [n] mediator apologist, pleader, polemicist, sophist; concepts 348,423 …   New thesaurus

  • devil's advocate — ► NOUN ▪ a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate …   English terms dictionary

  • Devil's advocate — For other uses, see Devil s advocate (disambiguation). In common parlance, a devil s advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with, just for the sake of argument. In taking such… …   Wikipedia

  • devil's advocate — noun someone who takes the worse side just for the sake of argument • Hypernyms: ↑debater, ↑arguer * * * noun, pl ⋯ cates [count] : a person who expresses an opinion that disagrees with others so that there will be an interesting discussion about …   Useful english dictionary

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