argue


argue
[14] English acquired argue and its various meanings via rather complex paths, but its ultimate origin is straightforward: the Latin verb arguere derived from a prehistoric Indo- European base *arg- ‘be white, bright, or clear’ (source also of Latin argentum ‘silver’, and thus of French argent ‘money’); it therefore meant primarily ‘make clear’, but this subsequently developed into ‘assert, prove’. A frequentative form (that is, one denoting repeated action) evolved, argutāre; this signified ‘make repeated assertions or accusations’. This passed into medieval French as arguer ‘accuse, blame’, and also ‘bring forward reasons for an assertion’, and thence into English. The meaning ‘accuse’ died out in English in the late 17th century, leaving ‘reasoning, discussing’ as the main sense of argue. Meanwhile, original Latin arguere had made its presence felt in establishing the sense ‘prove’ in English, now somewhat weakened to ‘imply, indicate’ (as in ‘Their lack of involvement argues indifference’). The sense ‘quarrel’ seems to have developed from ‘discuss’ in the 17th century.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • argue — ⇒ARGUE, subst. fém. TECHNOL. Machine à cabestan maintenant la filière où sont dégrossis les blocs d or, d argent, de cuivre ou de laiton; p. ext. la filière elle même ou l atelier où elle fonctionne. ♦ Bureaux de l argue. Lieu ,,où les orfèvres… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Argue — Ar gue, v. t. 1. To debate or discuss; to treat by reasoning; as, the counsel argued the cause before a full court; the cause was well argued. [1913 Webster] 2. To prove or evince; too manifest or exhibit by inference, deduction, or reasoning.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • argue — ar·gue vb ar·gued, ar·gu·ing vi 1: to give reasons for or against a matter in dispute arguing for an extension 2: to present a case in court will argue for the defense vt …   Law dictionary

  • argue — argüe (del cat. u occit. «argue»; ant.) m. *Cabrestante. * * * argue. (Del cat. o prov. argue). m. desus. cabrestante (ǁ torno de eje vertical) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Argue — Ar gue, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Argued}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Arguing}.] [OE. arguen, F. arguer, fr. L. argutare, freq. of arguere to make clear; from the same root as E. argent.] 1. To invent and offer reasons to support or overthrow a proposition,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • argüe — (del cat. u occit. «argue»; ant.) m. *Cabrestante. * * * argüe. m. p. us. cabrestante (ǁ torno de eje vertical) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • argue — [v1] verbally fight altercate, bandy, battle, bicker, break with, buck, bump heads, contend, cross, cross swords, disagree, dispute, face down, face off, feud, gang up on, get in one’s face*, go one on one, hammer, hammer away, hash, hash over,… …   New thesaurus

  • argue — ► VERB (argues, argued, arguing) 1) exchange diverging or opposite views heatedly. 2) give reasons or cite evidence in support of something. ● argue the toss Cf. ↑argue the toss …   English terms dictionary

  • argue — (Del cat.) o prov. argue). m. desus. cabrestante (ǁ torno de eje vertical) …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • argue — [är′gyo͞o] vi. argued, arguing [ME arguen < OFr arguer < VL argutare, for L argutari, to prattle, freq. of arguere, to make clear, prove < IE base * ar(e)g , gleaming (see ARGENT); OFr meaning and form infl. by arguere] 1. to give… …   English World dictionary

  • argué — argué, ée (ar gu é, ée) part. passé. Pièce arguée de faux …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré