devil's advocate

devil's advocate

Meaning | Synonyms

  • 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 11 Thoughts

Contribution & Thoughts 11

@Fatima Savoy… it’s not a noun and verb combination… that would give the phrase a completely different meaning if it was…

- Noah February 27, 2019

Someone said it was a noun and a verb put together… that’s verb usage would be “The Devils AdvoCATE” the verb is pronounced “Add-Voe-Kate” as opposed to the term in English (strangely enough) spelled the same way advocate pronounced “Add-Voe-Kit”… which is a noun… the verb usage would’ve describing a group of devils advocating for something as opposed to a singular position / someone who occupies the role of advocating for the “devil”, the “S” at the end of devils in this case being possessive not plural…English is confusing if even as a first language…sorry to all the people who have to learn it as a second

- The Devil February 27, 2019

Thank you. Your page helped me learn a bit more about myself, as this term was thrown around once to describe me on a personality test.

- Lucas Harvey October 25, 2018

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

- Mayank December 24, 2017

This was very useful thanks bro! 🙂

- Aaliyah December 14, 2017

@Ian Pajulas

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

Thanks

- Fatima Savoy December 4, 2017

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

- Ian Pajulas December 4, 2017

Got it finally!

- Bmass October 15, 2017

Thank you

- Anonymous June 27, 2017

Thank you. It was very much useful!

- Gabby May 7, 2017

Thank you very much for sharing your answer.

- JR October 4, 2016

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