• English Idiom – To Play Devil’s Advocate
  • Meaning – To express an opposing or unpopular point of view for the sake of argument. Argue for an opinion which you may not agree with in order to make an argument more interesting.
  • According to Phrase Finder this phrase was brought into English in the 18th century from the medieval Latin expression ‘advocatus diaboli’. When a person was nominated to become a Saint the ‘advocatus diaboli’ or ‘Devil’s Advocate’ was expected to draw up a list of arguments against the nominee becoming canonised.
Related:
Usage:

When could you use this idiom?

  • To understand both sides of an argument.
  • So you can better understand the opinions of someone you are debating.
  • To improve your debating skills.
  • In order to have an argument with someone!
Example:
  • “I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment so you will get an idea of what the opposition will say…”
In The News:

Playing Devil’s Advocate: Why Founders Should Ignore The Blog …

Discuss:
  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?
What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.