devil’s advocate

devil’s advocate

Meaning

  • one who presents a counter argument
  • one who argues against something just for the sake of arguing, without actually being committed to the views
  • one who puts forward arguments against a proposition, even if they may actually agree with it, simply to test the validity of the proposition
  • someone who pretends to be against an idea or plan that many agree with, so that people may discuss it and consider other views
  • a person who disagrees with others solely for the sake of having a discussion on the issue

Example Sentences

  1. I agree with what you say, but I’ll play devil’s advocate so that we can cover all the possibilities that may arise.
  2. He offered to play devil’s advocate and argue against our case so that we could find out any flaws in it.
  3. The schoolmaster often played devil’s advocate with his students so that they could have an interesting discussion and look at other point of views.
  4. The plan is good, but I’ll play devil’s advocate so that we know what the opposition can say.
  5. The defence lawyer played devil’s advocate, explaining that the truth could be the opposite of the way it looked, but the judge wasn’t having it.
  6. If you don’t play devil’s advocate to test your own ideas, you will never know if they stand up to scrutiny.
  7. Playing devil’s advocate to every detail of the plan is the only way to ensure that you anticipate problems before they occur.
  8. I am sick of you playing devil’s advocate with everything I say – you are just doing it to be argumentative.

Origin

During the canonization (declaring that a person, who has died, was a saint) process of the Roman Catholic Church, an official was appointed to argue against the canonization of the proposed candidate. This is done to properly justify the merits of the candidate. This official was known as the devil’s advocate.

D 9 Comments

9 Comments

AuthorMayank writes on 24th December 2017

Thank you so much! This is very helpful for me.

AuthorAaliyah writes on 14th December 2017

This was very useful thanks bro! 🙂

AuthorFatima Savoy writes on 4th December 2017

@Ian Pajulas

The title “devils advocate” is a noun and verb put together.

Thanks,
The Idioms Team

AuthorIan Pajulas writes on 4th December 2017

Can you please add some what part of speech are the titles?

Authorkayla writes on 16th November 2017

Got it, thanks!!

AuthorBmass writes on 15th October 2017

Got it finally!

AuthorAnonymous writes on 27th June 2017

Thank you

AuthorGabby writes on 7th May 2017

Thank you. It was very much useful!

AuthorJR writes on 4th October 2016

Thank you very much for sharing your answer.

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