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bone of contention

a subject, cause, or focal point of a dispute:
The terms of the old man's will were a bone of contention to his survivors.
Origin of bone of contention
First recorded in 1705-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for bone of contention

bone of contention

the grounds or subject of a dispute
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with bone of contention

bone of contention

Main issue of a disagreement; something to quarrel about. For example, Grandfather's will was a bone of contention for the whole family. This expression alludes to two dogs fighting (contending) over a single bone. In slightly different guise,bone of dissension, it was used figuratively in the 16th century and took its present form in the early 1700s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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