Some people in life really enjoy debating. Whether it’s about high-stakes politics and economics, or low-stakes discussions about groceries and movies, you might want to describe someone who likes to debate, and argues with people who disagree with them. Here are some terms you can use to refer to them.
The preferred terms are “Polemic”, “Argumentative” and “Controversialist”. All of these specifically talk about a person who enjoys arguing and fighting, who doesn’t shy away from controversy but rather steps into it. If you want to describe someone who really enjoys arguing, it’s hard to do better than these terms.
A person who is always arguing and debating with people could be very easily described as a “Polemic”. This means that the person is always steeped in controversy, that they choose a controversial position and are opposed to the majority opinion.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, a “Polemic” is “a piece of writing or a speech in which a person strongly attacks or defends a particular opinion, person, idea, or set of beliefs.” This can also be used to describe people who are mired in controversy.
Here’s some examples of how you’d use this particular word in a sentence:
- He’s a polemic sort of person, always arguing with other people about things.
- I’d describe myself as a polemic aficionado, because I really like debating.
- They’re a very polemic-forward group, always being contrarians for the sake of it.
If someone likes to argue, it’s only reasonable to think that a great term to describe them is “Argumentative”. For those people who always somehow end up on a debate, no matter what the situation, you can use “Argumentative” to describe their demeanor and attitude.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, someone who is “Argumentative” is “often arguing or wanting to argue”. That’s a very fitting term for someone who always likes to argue.
Here are some example sentences that will show you how to use “Argumentative”:
- I want to get along better with her, but she’s just so argumentative that it’s exhausting.
- I’m a very argumentative person, so if you can deal with that we will get along great.
- They’re so argumentative, no matter what you say, they will contradict it.
“Controversialist” is a fun and specific term that you can use to refer to someone who loves to engage in controversy and debate. If someone willfully likes to goad people into starting arguments, and enjoys debating for the sake of debating, no matter what the argument is, they’re “Controversialists”.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, a “Controversialist” is “a person who likes to disagree with other people and say things that make people angry or think about a subject”. Seems like a great term for someone who loves to argue.
Here are some example sentences that use “Controversialist”, so you can learn how to use it:
- She’s an absolute controversialist, always making people upset with her opinions.
- For this year, I want to be less of a controversialist, and get along with people.
- He has a lot of controversialist tendencies because he really loves to argue.
If someone really likes to argue and debate, then odds are that they will often take a contrary position for no good reason beyond the argument itself. The correct term to describe such an attitude from a person is “Contrarian”.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, a “Contrarian” is “someone such as a writer or politician who likes to disagree with other people and express opinions that are unpopular”. This is a good way to describe someone who really likes to argue.
Here are some examples of the way that you’d use “Contrarian” to describe people:
- I don’t enjoy talking with him because he’s such a big contrarian.
- That’s the contrarian bloc, they will always take the opposite position to you.
- The internet is filled with contrarians who just love to argue about anything.
“Contentious” is a good adjective to describe someone who always ends up in a disagreement or debate of some sort. An event or a debate itself can be contentious, but a person can also be contentious, in which case odds are that this person is always arguing and debating.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “Contentious” means “causing , involving, or likely to cause disagreement and argument”. Therefore it’s a good term for someone who likes to argue.
Here are a few example sentences that contain the proper use of “Contentious”:
- He’s a contentious guy, I’ve gotten into arguments with him many times in the past.
- She’s contentious so I don’t blame you for not getting along very well with her.
- I think I’m more contentious than I used to be years ago.
If someone loves to and is always engaging in debates, then they can be described as a “Debater”. This is the perfect term for someone who always finds themselves involved in some form of debate or argument, and particularly if the person actively likes arguing.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “Debater” describes “a person who takes part in a serious discussion of a subject with many other people”. This is the sort of discussion that a person who likes to argue would engage in.
Here’s a few example sentences that all include the term “Debater” so you can verify how to use it:
- She’s a debater, I believe that she has participated in several debate-centric conferences.
- I don’t want to limit myself to being just a debater, I want to do more than that.
- If you’re a debater, that means that you probably like debating on some level.
When someone engages in an argument that is being constructed only for the sake of arguing, and has no intention to reach a common ground or some sort of conclusion, that’s what the term “Eristic” is for. It’s a good term for someone who always engages in unproductive arguments.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “Eristic” means “used to describe an argument that aims to disagree with another one, rather than explain or discover the truth”, which means that you can use it to describe a person that always argues.
Here are some examples that include proper use of the term “Eristic” for you to understand it more:
- He’s always serving up these eristic arguments and I don’t know what to do.
- She’s an eristic person, it’s quite futile to try and have an argument with her.
- You have to avoid making your arguments eristic, that’s poor debate etiquette.
Another great term for someone who likes to argue is “Quarrelsome”. You’d use “Quarrelsome” to describe someone who makes a lot of arguments and picks a lot of fights with people, and therefore it’s a great term to describe someone who enjoys arguing and is always doing so.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, a person who is “Quarrelsome” “repeatedly argues with other people”. If someone likes to argue, they probably argue with other people a lot, which is what makes this such a good term for them.
Here’s a few example sentences that showcase the proper use of “Quarrelsome”:
- I need you to stop being so quarrelsome and make an effort to get along with others.
- I’m a quarrelsome person, it’s simply in my nature, but I think I can get better.
- She used to be very quarrelsome, would always pick fights, but she has mellowed out over time.
“Disputatious” is yet another great term to refer to someone who likes arguing, because it’s the sort of word you’d use to describe someone who actively enjoys disagreeing with people, and being contrary to popular opinion. If someone likes to argue, it’s very likely that they’re a disputatious person.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “Disputatious” means “liking to argue and disagree, or arguing and disagreeing a lot”. Therefore, it’s a good term for someone who likes arguing.
Here are some examples of the way you’d use the word “Disputatious” to describe someone:
- He’s a very disputatious kid, he’s always disrupting classes with his fights and arguments.
- She’s a disputatious person, it’s in her nature to disagree with anything you say.
- Because he’s such a disputatious guy, we should prepare well when we go to the meeting.
If someone spends a lot of time arguing and intentionally gets into fights, then “Belligerent” is a term you could easily use to describe them. When you say “Belligerent”, you’re saying that the person is bound to argue with someone because they like to engage in such an activity.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, if someone is “Belligerent” it means that they are “wishing to fight or argue”. Someone who likes to argue, then, could easily be described as belligerent.
Here are a few example sentences that showcases the proper use of “Belligerent” to describe a person:
- She’s really belligerent which can sometimes make it hard to have a proper conversation with her.
- He’s become a lot less belligerent since summer break started.
- I think someone being belligerent can be a negative trait, but it could also be positive.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.