Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

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:

  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 id good, but I’ll play devil’s advocate so that we know what the opposition can say.

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.

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1 Comment

  • Expression: JR writes on 4 October, 2016

    Thank you very much for sharing your answer.

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