Idiom of the Day: Play the Devil’s Advocate

“To play the devil’s advocate” means to put forward arguments against or objections to a proposition–which one may actually agree with–purely to test the validity of the proposition.

A devil’s advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position they do not necessarily agree with (or simply an alternative position from the accepted norm), for the sake of debate or to explore the thought further. In taking this position, the individual taking on the devil’s advocate role seeks to engage others in an argumentative discussion process.