- of, relating to, or characteristic of controversy, or prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; polemical: a controversial book.
- subject to controversy; debatable: a controversial decision.
- given to controversy; argumentative; disputatious: a controversial public figure.
Origin of controversial
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for controversial
That is why The Daily Beast stands with Charlie Hebdo and published their controversial covers in the wake of the attack.Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo—And You Should Too
January 8, 2015
While this deferred action is controversial in the United States, in Mexico, what Obama did is universally popular.Why Mexicans Are Enraged by Obama’s Big Tuesday Meeting
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
January 6, 2015
The Eighty-ninth Congress was potentially more fertile ground for the broad range of controversial programs on his dream agenda.Thank Congress, Not LBJ for Great Society
Julian Zelizer, Scott Porch
January 4, 2015
Zufi understands that his work can be controversial to many within his community.Can Hip-Hop Prevent Honor Killings?
December 30, 2014
The claim is one of a series of allegations made in a controversial documentary that the BBC has now pulled.Pulled Documentary Says William Felt ‘Used’ by Charles’ Push for Camilla
December 30, 2014
What does she know about controversial points and disputed dogmas?The Martins Of Cro' Martin, Vol. I (of II)
Charles James Lever
This should put the controversial "question of the Tiadaghton" to rest.
On the contrary, every proposal bristled with controversial points.Union and Democracy
It was too controversial, and besides I did not give it time enough.A Daughter of the Middle Border
Wells's Controversial Treatises against the Dissenters, &c. 3s.The Annual Catalogue (1737)
Word Origin and History for controversial
1580s, from Late Latin controversialis "pertaining to controversy," from Latin controversia (see controversy).