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contentious

[kuh n-ten-shuh s]
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adjective
  1. tending to argument or strife; quarrelsome: a contentious crew.
  2. causing, involving, or characterized by argument or controversy: contentious issues.
  3. Law. pertaining to causes between contending or opposing parties.

Origin of contentious

1400–50; late Middle English contenciose < Latin contentiōsus, equivalent to contenti(ō) contention + -ōsus -ous
Related formscon·ten·tious·ly, adverbcon·ten·tious·ness, nounnon·con·ten·tious, adjectivenon·con·ten·tious·ly, adverbo·ver·con·ten·tious, adjectiveo·ver·con·ten·tious·ly, adverbo·ver·con·ten·tious·ness, nounun·con·ten·tious, adjectiveun·con·ten·tious·ly, adverbun·con·ten·tious·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. disputatious, argumentative.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contentiously

Historical Examples

  • "I can't go and say to him, 'Don't you fall in love with me,'" said Dawn contentiously.

    Some Everyday Folk and Dawn

    Miles Franklin

  • "Na, th' ben't one alive," said an old miner, contentiously.

    Gordon Keith

    Thomas Nelson Page


British Dictionary definitions for contentiously

contentious

adjective
  1. tending to argue or quarrel
  2. causing or characterized by dispute; controversial
  3. law relating to a cause or legal business that is contested, esp a probate matter
Derived Formscontentiously, adverbcontentiousness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for contentiously

contentious

adj.

c.1500, from Middle French contentieux, from Latin contentiosus "obstinate, quarrelsome," from contentionem (see contend). Related: Contentiously; contentiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper