Using semantics in a debate is to use definitions to turn a debate in one's favour. Semantics is the study of words' meanings. For instance, if one were to define racism as the "freedom of speech", then it would become easier to argue that racism is acceptable. However, semantics used in actual debates are often more subtle than that, as blatantly inaccurate definitions used in this way are considered a tool used in trolling; they derail debates. Arguing based on semantics is sometimes allowed in debate; in fact, some issues of debate revolve around semantics.

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