devil's advocate

(redirected from The Devil's Advocate)

devil's advocate

One who argues against or attacks an idea, argument, or proposition—even if one is in favor of it—for the sake of debate or to further examine its strength, validity, or details. Refers to the "Advocatus Diaboli," a person employed by the Catholic Church to argue against the canonization of a saint (and therefore help determine if that person is truly worthy of sainthood). I'm all for universal health care, but I'll be the devil's advocate in asking how the government intends to fund such a massive undertaking. Tom is always the devil's advocate in any given conversation because he loves picking apart other people's arguments.
See also: advocate

devil's advocate

One who argues against a cause or position either for the sake of argument or to help determine its validity. For example, My role in the campaign is to play devil's advocate to each new policy before it's introduced to the public . This term comes from the Roman Catholic Church, where advocatus diaboli (Latin for "devil's advocate") signifies an official who is appointed to present arguments against a proposed canonization or beatification. It was transferred to wider use in the mid-1700s.
See also: advocate

a/the devil’s ˈadvocate

a person who argues against something, even though they really agree with it, just to test the arguments for it: Helen doesn’t really think that women shouldn’t go out to work. She just likes to play devil’s advocate.
See also: advocate
References in periodicals archive ?
I'm willing to play the devil's advocate on this one as well: the investigation requested by the Council of Governors will most likely vindicate the new no-drama Baba Yao.
So now that I have you seriously thinking about the "undercover" neurological factors that are stifling innovation in your organisations, can you see why the devil's advocate role is key?
Having expressed my doubts about the devil's advocate for years, I undertook the first study in 1998 when three graduate students at Berkeley expressed their interest.
Gary Bainbridge, owner of The Devil's Advocate on Borough Road in Middlesbrough, wants to convert the former Pie in the Sky sandwich shop on Church Street into a pub and gin bar.
3 THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE (1997) KEANU Reeves wins the prize for having the worst boss in the movies.
The Devil's Advocate Guide to Planning Your Business Website
THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE 5USA 10PM Lip-smacking Al Pacino makes life hell for adept but greedy lawyer Keanu Reeves.
A BOGUS lawyer known as the Devil's Advocate for his links with Saddam Hussein and Ian Brady is bidding to move to an Italian jail - because he says ours are dirty and full of thieves.
THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE Channel 5, 11pm A hotshot lawyer is lured away from his provincial practice to work for a powerful big-city law firm.
Tim Curry certainly looked the part in Ridley Scott's 1985 movie Legend, while Al Pacino was a suited and booted evil one in the Devil's Advocate in 1997.
THE lawyer known as the devil's advocate after defending some of the world's worst mass murderers has died.
The 57-year-old, known as the Devil's Advocate, managed to access a banned mobile phone behind bars and has put out a series of rants.
Because his presentation of facts must include everything unfavorable to the candidate, the promoter of the faith is popularly known as the devil's advocate. His duty requires him to prepare in writing all possible arguments, even at times seemingly slight, against the raising of any one to the Ian honours of the altar."
After the incident, Lohan blasted out on Twitter saying that her 'ex-dad' barged into her apartment 'like a devil's advocate.' the incident, the 23-year-old actress went on a Twitter rant to say that her "ex-dad" walked into her apartment "like the devil's advocate."
[12] At the climax of the Devil's Advocate, Kevin Lomax shoots himself in front of Christabella and John Milton.
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