Definition of Devil's advocate

1. Noun. Someone who takes the worse side just for the sake of argument.

Generic synonyms: Arguer, Debater

Definition of Devil's advocate

1. Noun. (idiomatic) One who debates from a view which he may not actually hold, usually to determine its validity or simply for the sake of argument. ¹

2. Noun. (qualifier Roman Catholic Church) A canon lawyer appointed by the Church to argue against the canonization of the proposed candidate. ¹

¹ Source:

Devil's Advocate Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Devil's Advocate

device approval
device characteristic
device driver
devil's advocate
devil's advocates
devil's apples
devil's cigar
devil's claw
devil's coach-horse
devil's coach-horses
devil's darning-needle
devil's darning needle
devil's fig
devil's flax
devil's food
devil's food cake
devil's food cakes
devil's grip

Literary usage of Devil's advocate

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Gateways to Literature: And Other Essays by Brander Matthews (1912)
"... THE DEVIL S ADVOCATE in the best meaning of that abused word,—a word frequent in Ruskin's mouth, altho the qualities it denotes were as frequently ..."

2. A Musical Motley by Ernest Newman (1919)
"... that some devil s advocate would come among us and talk like this about the musical classics. I do not say that we should finally agree with him, ..."

3. Anthony Britten by Herbert C. MacIlwaine (1906)
"Anthony, nursing the blind wretchedness she inspired in him, assumed the part of devil,s advocate and glumly hoped for the salvation of his people through ..."

4. Ghetto Comedies by Israel Zangwill (1907)
"... I should have gone to the Bar instead of being condemned to shopkeeping., ' You are a very good devil,s advocate now,, retorted the minister. ..."

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