Is "to debate a person" a correct use of the verb "debate"? I looked up several dictionaries, but did not find such an example. However, when I searched Corpus of Contemporary American English by "debate him", it returned 26 results one of which is as follows:

He knows Perot is much better known, and Lamm wants Perot to agree to debate him before the convention, so Party members can get to know them both.


Merriam-Webster has


transitive verb


a : to argue about

b : to engage (an opponent) in debate

The President debated his challenger in front of a live audience on Tuesday.


Here is the dictionary (WordWebOnline) that says it's possible to 'debate [someone]'

debate: Argue with one another

The example follows

John debated Mary

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