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I have noticed that people use 'debatable' a lot, while 'arguable' is used quite less.
What's the difference and when should one use one or the other?

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    your question has nothing to doubt.. – Misti Jan 13 '15 at 18:23
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    It's debatable whether there's a difference. But arguable that there is. – Hot Licks Jan 13 '15 at 19:14
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    ngram on this pair is nice: books.google.com/ngrams/… Debatable is older, and has always been the more popular term. Debatable's been on the downslope since the late 70's, but arguable's taken an even steeper slide since 2000. – Wayfaring Stranger Jan 13 '15 at 20:13
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According to Merriam-Webster, both these words can be used to refer to something the truth of which is in doubt:

Debatable:

2a : open to dispute : questionable

Arguable:

1 : open to argument, dispute, or question

However, a second meaning for arguable is

that can be plausibly or convincingly argued

That is, arguable can be used to describe a proposition which someone wishes to present as true. Debatable, on the other hand (especially in light of the apparent synonymy of questionable), is often used to describe a proposition which someone wishes to present as false or at least unlikely; see for example Merriam-Webster's sample phrase

the debatable wisdom of going back for another helping from the buffet

which, it seems, would indicate that going back is presented as unwise.

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Debatable means it could go either way. Arguable means that one can make a good case to support the issue/opinion.

  • it could go either way, it's doubtable. – Manish Jan 13 '15 at 19:57
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In some meanings, and idioms

  • A debate is a friendly discussion where people take sides.
  • An argument, is what happens on Facebook - not very friendly.

In person, a debate is polite speech, yelling indicates arguing.

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