1. Proof; evidence. There is. No more palpable and convincing argument of the existence of a Deity. (Ray) Why, then, is it made a badge of wit and an argument of parts for a man to commence atheist, and to cast off all belief of providence, all awe and reverence for religion? (South)
2. A reason or reasons offered in proof, to induce belief, or convince the mind; reasoning expressed in words; as, an argument about, concerning, or regarding a proposition, for or in favor of it, or against it.
3. A process of reasoning, or a controversy made up of rational proofs; argumentation; discussion; disputation. The argument is about things, but names. (Locke)
4. The subject matter of a discourse, writing, or artistic representation; theme or topic; also, an abstract or summary, as of the contents of a book, chapter, poem. You and love are still my argument. (Shak) The abstract or argument of the piece. (Jeffrey) Shields with boastful argument portrayed. (Milton)
5. Matter for question; business in hand. Sheathed their swords for lack of argument. (Shak)
6. (Science: astronomy) The quantity on which another quantity in a table depends; as, the altitude is the argument of the refraction.
7. (Science: mathematics) The independent variable upon whose value that of a function depends.
Origin: f. Argument, L. Argumentum, fr. Arguere to argue.