devil's advocate


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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 ?
Such side effects are typically assumed to be negative, though the devil's advocate can counter that they might just as well turn out to be positive.
Second, scholars might examine the origin of the devil's advocate role.
Rather than one person playing a solitary devil's advocate, another option is to form a board committee to play the role.
Devil's Advocate owner Gary Bainbridge is set for the ITV show katie lunn
The devil's advocate ensures that the debate is robust by, among other things, using role-playing: that way, people can raise issues without fear of hurting their careers.
WHILE Time Magazine chose Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono as its 2005 Persons of the Year, the cover of the Devil's Advocate certainly would bestow the honor on Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Beating the Devil's Advocate & Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization; Tom Kelley; Doubleday, New York, NY; 2005; 274 pp.
At the risk of playing devil's advocate the people targeted in this slap-dash survey may well have been out-of-towners, probably from London - where they charge pounds 3.
Sir Bob, who describes himself as "a pop star, poet, open-plan politician, living saint, devil's advocate, freelance genius and natural irritant", will appear on November 20.
That doesn't tempt Pattison to automatically become the Devil's Advocate with regard to potential deals.
DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, one of Mark Pitman's leading bumper performers, has been put down after breaking a leg on the gallops.
last week in which the studio agreed to exorcise several scenes from the video version of "The Devil's Advocate.
My point in coming across as a sort of Devil's advocate here -- at least from the provider standpoint -- is that I don't feel that I am all that unique; there are millions of consumers out there in roughly the same economic circumstances as mine.
At the very least, CPAs should apply their analytical skills and play the devil's advocate, questioning the source of corporate forecasts, ferreting out false premises and observing when emotions are overwhelming better judgment.
Shoppers will have their choice of the following popular titles -- "Above the Law," "Alexander: Director's Cut," "Blazing Saddles: 30th Anniversary Special Edition," "Bullitt," "The Devil's Advocate," "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "The Perfect Storm" and "Troy.