Another word for formally discuss is debate. Cheese lovers often debate the merits of gorgonzola, triple creme brie, and gouda. Of course, they need to accompany their arguments with a taste test!

A debate is a kind of respectful, well reasoned argument over opposing points of view, although tensions can run high and voices can be raised. In fact, the verb evolved from the Old French debatre, meaning “to fight.” Most formal debates, during a political campaign for example, keep the battles to a minimum. But if you find yourself in the midst of a debate between a Red Sox fan and a Yankees fan, things could get ugly!

Definitions of debate
  1. noun
    a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal
    synonyms: argument, argumentation
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    argument about words or the meaning of words
    type of:
    discussion, give-and-take, word
    an exchange of views on some topic
  2. noun
    the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)
    synonyms: disputation, public debate
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    type of:
    oral presentation, public speaking, speaking, speechmaking
    delivering an address to a public audience
  3. verb
    discuss the pros and cons of an issue
    synonyms: deliberate
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    subject to prolonged examination, discussion, or deliberation
    type of:
    discuss, hash out, talk over
    speak with others about (something); talk (something) over in detail; have a discussion
  4. verb
    argue with one another
    “We debated the question of abortion”
    “John debated Mary”
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    type of:
    consider, deliberate, moot, turn over
    think about carefully; weigh
  5. verb
    have an argument about something
    synonyms: argue, contend, fence
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    dispute or argue stubbornly (especially minor points)
    fight verbally
    bicker, brabble, niggle, pettifog, quibble, squabble
    argue over petty things
    altercate, argufy, dispute, quarrel, scrap
    have a disagreement over something
    be against; express opposition to
    brawl, wrangle
    to quarrel noisily, angrily or disruptively
    engage in a brief and petty quarrel
    polemicise, polemicize, polemise, polemize
    engage in a controversy
    fall out
    have a breach in relations
    contend, contest, repugn
    to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
    type of:
    converse, discourse
    carry on a conversation
  6. verb
    think about carefully; weigh
    synonyms: consider, deliberate, moot, turn over
    consider, study
    give careful consideration to
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    deliberate or decide
    consider, ponder, or plan (an action) beforehand
    engage in deep thought, consideration, or debate
    think twice
    consider and reconsider carefully
    type of:
    discuss, hash out, talk over
    speak with others about (something); talk (something) over in detail; have a discussion
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