"disputation, debate, prolonged agitation of contrary opinions," late 14c., from Old French controversie "quarrel, disagreement" or directly from Latin controversia "a turning against; contention, quarrel, dispute," from controversus "turned in an opposite direction, disputed, turned against," from contra "against" (see contra (prep., adv.)) + versus "turned toward or against," past participle of vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend").
1560s, "debate, discussion" (on the notion of "a mental tossing to and fro"), from French agitation, from Latin agitationem (nominative agitatio) "motion, agitation," noun of action from past-participle stem of agitare "move to and fro," frequentative of agere "to set in motion, drive forward; keep in movement" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move").
Physical sense of "state of being shaken or moving violently" is from 1580s; meaning "state of being mentally agitated" is from 1722; that of "arousing and sustaining public attention" to some political or social cause is from 1828.
1690s, "to contrive, adjust;" 1707, "to contrive and arrange mutually," from French concerter and directly from Italian concertare "to bring into agreement," apparently from Latin concertare "to contend with zealously, contest, dispute, debate" from assimilated form of com "with" (see con-) + certare "to contend, strive," frequentative of certus, variant past participle of cernere "separate, distinguish, decide" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish"). Related: Concerted; concerting.
1610s, "occurring at the end," from French conclusif, from Late Latin conclusivus, from conclus-, past participle stem of Latin concludere "to shut up, enclose," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + -cludere, combining form of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). Meaning "definitive, decisive, convincing, being so forcible as not to admit of contradiction" (on the notion of "leading to a logical conclusion," and thus putting an end to debate) is from 1640s. Related: Conclusiveness.
In parliamentary practice, previous question is the question whether a vote shall be taken on the main issue or not, brought forward before the main question is put by the Speaker.
The great remedy against prolix or obstructive debate is the so called previous question, which is moved in the form, "Shall the main question be now put?" and when ordered closes forthwith all debate, and brings the House to a direct vote on that main question. ... Closure by previous question, first established in 1811, is in daily use, and is considered so essential to the progress of business that I never found any member or official willing to dispense with it. Even the senators, who object to its introduction into their own much smaller chamber, agree that it must exist in a large body like the House. [James Bryce, "The American Commonwealth," vol. I., 1893]
late 14c., altercacioun, "angry contention with words," from Old French altercacion "altercation" (12c.) and directly from Latin altercationem (nominative altercatio) "a dispute, debate, discussion," noun of action from past-participle stem of altercari "to dispute (with another)," from alter "the other" (see alter). The notion perhaps is of "speaking alternately."
Altercation is the spoken part of a quarrel, the parties speaking alternately. An altercation is thus a quarrelsome dispute between two persons or two sides. [Century Dictionary]
mid-15c., peremptorie, "absolute, allowing no refusal," a legal term, from Anglo-French peremptorie, from Late Latin peremptorius "destructive, decisive, final," from peremptor "destroyer," agent noun from past-participle stem of Latin perimpere "destroy, cut off," from per "away entirely, to destruction" (see per) + emere (past participle emptus) "to take" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute"). Of persons or their words, "certain, assured, brooking no debate or question," 1580s. Related: Peremptorily.
"of doubtful or uncertain nature, open to various interpretations," 1520s, from Latin ambiguus "having double meaning, shifting, changeable, doubtful," adjective derived from ambigere "to dispute about, contend, debate," literally "to wander, go about, go around," figuratively "hesitate, waver, be in doubt," from ambi- "about" (from PIE root *ambhi- "around") + agere "drive, lead, act" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). First attested in Sir Thomas More (1528); related ambiguity dates to c. 1400. Related: Ambiguously; ambiguousness.
1580s, "to disturb," from Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare "to put in constant or violent motion, drive onward, impel," frequentative of agere "to set in motion, drive, drive forward," figuratively "incite to action; keep in movement, stir up" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move").
Literal sense of "move to and fro, shake" is from 1590s. Meaning "to discuss, debate" is from 1640s, that of "keep (a political or social question) constantly in public view" is by 1828. Related: Agitated; agitating.