Skip to main content
Select Source:

devils advocate

dev·il's ad·vo·cate • n. a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments: the interviewer will need to play devil's advocate to put the other side's case forward. ∎  hist. the popular title of the person appointed by the Roman Catholic Church to challenge a proposed beatification or canonization, or the verification of a miracle.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"devils advocate." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"devils advocate." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/devils-advocate

"devils advocate." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/devils-advocate

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Devilʾs advocate

Devilʾs advocate or advocatus diaboli. Person appointed by the Roman Catholic Congregation of Rites to contest the claims of those put forward for beatification or canonization (i.e. being recognized officially as saints). His more correct name is promotor fidei (promoter of the faith); the supporter of the proposal is known as advocatus Dei (advocate of God).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Devilʾs advocate." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Devilʾs advocate." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/devils-advocate

"Devilʾs advocate." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/devils-advocate

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.