ar·gu·ment / ˈärgyəmənt/ • n. 1. an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one: I've had an argument with my father. 2. a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong: there is a strong argument for submitting a formal appeal. 3. Math. an independent variable associated with a function and determining the value of the function. For example, in the expression y = F(x1, x2), the arguments of the function F are x1 and x2, and the value is y. ∎ another term for amplitude (sense 4). ∎ Comput. a value or address passed to a procedure or function at the time of call. ∎ Linguistics any of the noun phrases in a clause that are related directly to the verb, typically the subject, direct object, and indirect object. ∎ Logic the middle term in a syllogism. 4. archaic a summary of the subject matter of a book. PHRASES: for the sake of argument as a basis for discussion or reasoning.
A form of expression consisting of a coherent set of reasons presenting or supporting a point of view; a series of reasons given for or against a matter under discussion that is intended to convince or persuade the listener.
For example, an argument by counsel consists of a presentation of the facts or evidence and the inferences that may be drawn therefrom, which are aimed at persuading a judge or jury to render a verdict in favor of the attorney's client.
An attorney may begin to develop an argument in the opening statement, the initial discussion of the case in which the facts and the pertinent law are stated. In most cases, however, an attorney sets forth the main points of an argument in the closing argument, which is the attorney's final opportunity to comment on the case before a judge or jury retires to begin deliberation on a verdict.