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Origin of controversial
OTHER WORDS FROM controversial
Words nearby controversial
What does controversial mean?
Controversial is used to describe someone or something that causes people to get upset and argue.
Controversial is the adjective form of the noun controversy, which is a prolonged dispute, debate, or state of contention, especially one that unfolds in public and involves a stark difference of opinion. Things commonly called controversial include topics, actions, and people (particularly for what they say and do).
Example: Questions about the candidate’s controversial remarks from the past prevented him from talking about his campaign.
Where does controversial come from?
The first records of controversial in English come from around the 1580s. It comes from the Latin controversialis, which is ultimately derived from the roots contrā, meaning “against” (as seen in words like contrary), and vertere, meaning “to turn” (as in the word versus).
Yes, something that’s controversial causes people to turn against each other. People say and do things all the time that cause arguments or debate (and the strife and discord that come with them), but we most often apply controversial to those things when they play out in public. There’s a reason for that: the more public something is, the more people will engage with it. And when people are involved, there’s no shortage of opinions. The formula for controversy is very simple: a lot of opinions plus a lot of passion. Topics traditionally known as controversial include religion and politics, probably because those are two areas where people are least willing to compromise. In this way, topics that are controversial can be polarizing, meaning that they divide people into very specific groups based on their very specific opinions.
People (particularly public figures) are called controversial when they do or say things that get other people worked up. (Of course, some people are controversial on purpose, especially to attract attention.)
People sometimes criticize the use of the word controversial, especially by the media, to describe something that they argue is not just contentious but plain wrong in some way, as in His remarks weren’t controversial—they were racist.
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What are some other forms related to controversial?
- controversy (noun)
- controversially (adverb)
- controversialism (noun)
- controversialist (noun)
- uncontroversial (adjective)
- uncontroversially (adverb)
- noncontroversial (adjective)
- noncontroversially (adverb)
- precontroversial (adjective)
What are some synonyms for controversial?
What are some words that often get used in discussing controversial?
How is controversial used in real life?
Just about any topic can be controversial if people feel strongly about it and disagree. Most often the word is used when such disagreement happens in public and is documented (and, yes, sometimes played up) by the media.
The new rules, which are now scheduled to be in place on April 1, will change how doctors are paid. One of the most controversial developments involves changes to a fee known as a complex care modifier, which doctors were able to charge if visits took longer than 15 minutes.
— Hellberta (@Hell_Berta) February 29, 2020
controversial take: even “great” macarons are hot garbage.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 27, 2017
'Controversial' is a fun way of saying unconstitutional and borderline illegal … https://t.co/WOl1TQuRfk
— Grouchy Broderick (@TheImpeccableG) March 3, 2020
Try using controversial!
Which of the following is an antonym (opposite) of controversial?
Example sentences 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|John Avlon|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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|DAILY BEAST
The Eighty-ninth Congress was potentially more fertile ground for the broad range of controversial programs on his dream agenda.
Zufi understands that his work can be controversial to many within his community.
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|Tom Sykes|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But it is not our purpose to discuss these questions in any controversial spirit.
Much less, of course, can we undertake to enter into these controversial points.Elements of Folk Psychology|Wilhelm Wundt
Nor is Oxford without a controversial prologue to the story of its printing.A History of the Cambridge University Press|S. C. Roberts
Many of these questions have not yet passed the controversial stage; out of these will emerge the astronomy of the future.The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)|J. Arthur Thomson
This dissuasion only whetted the controversial appetite, and off set Philip with his Polyglot Bible under his arm.Perlycross|R. D. Blackmore