Origin of controversy
synonym study for controversy
OTHER WORDS FROM controversypre·con·tro·ver·sy, noun, plural pre·con·tro·ver·sies.
Words nearby controversy
What does controversy mean?
A controversy is a prolonged dispute, debate, or state of contention, especially one that unfolds in public and involves a stark difference of opinion.
Controversy can refer to a specific dispute, as in The recent controversy started three weeks ago, or a general state of contention, as in Important literature usually results in controversy.
The adjective form controversial is used to describe someone or something that causes people to get upset and argue.
Example: The controversy surrounding the candidate’s past remarks has overshadowed the campaign.
Where does controversy come from?
The first records of the word controversy come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin contrōversia, which is equivalent to contrōvers(us), meaning “turned against” or “disputed.” The term ultimately derives from the roots contrā, meaning “against” (as seen in words like contrary), and vertere, meaning “to turn” (as in the word versus).
Yes, controversies cause 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 use the word controversy when these situations 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, controversies 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 cause controversy 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.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to controversy?
- controversial (adjective)
- controversially (adverb)
What are some words that share a root or word element with controversy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing controversy?
How is controversy used in real life?
The word controversy is most often used when such a dispute happens in public and is documented (and, yes, sometimes played up) by the media.
Protesters toppled and set aflame a statue of Albert Pike in Washington. The statue, funded by the Freemasons, was the only statue of a Confederate general in the nation's capital and a longtime source of controversy. https://t.co/suvVYzA9aR
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 20, 2020
1/ I’m not weighing in on the growing controversy about the complex rules applied to developers in @Apple’s App Store. Just based on what I’ve read, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple is forced to change some of them. But I want to make three points that people seem to forget.
— Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) June 17, 2020
Controversy is back in the Premier League.
It only took 41 minutes 🤣 pic.twitter.com/GcxGkVGxzt
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 17, 2020
Try using controversy!
Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe a controversy?
How to use controversy in a sentence
Alexander has run into controversy in recent days for pressuring scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The Trump administration’s politicization of coronavirus comes to a head|Aaron Blake|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
Concerns among Democrats on the committee grew after the NLRB issued an unusual report on its recusal process last November, spurred by the earlier controversy around Hy-Brand.“Cover Up”: House Democrats Subpoena Documents That NLRB Refused to Share in Ethics Investigation|by Ian MacDougall|September 15, 2020|ProPublica
The live-action epic, which has also been embroiled in controversy over its filming location, is not playing in North American theaters.The North American box office isn’t bouncing back that fast|radmarya|September 14, 2020|Fortune
The controversy it has generated since details from the book were first published this week will likely fuel more sales.Bob Woodward’s book proves Americans still want to read about Trump|Karen Ho|September 11, 2020|Quartz
The list of 2020 James Beard nominees also included the names of some chefs who have recently faced controversy and criticism, which, according to the foundation’s rules of eligibility, could disqualify them from winning.The Mess That Is the 2020 James Beard Awards, Explained|Elazar Sontag|September 11, 2020|Eater
Their claims have led to both academic controversy and localized conflict.
“We would just as soon stay away from a group that will create controversy,” the Cubs general manager Sam Bernabe told the paper.
The role of private investigators has stirred controversy in the investigation.U.S. Spies Say They Tracked ‘Sony Hackers’ For Years|Shane Harris|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
As the controversy unfurled late Monday, it created some odd bedfellows.No. 3 Republican Admits Talking to White Supremacist Conference|Tim Mak|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Interview, which caused so much controversy, was never intended for release in South Korean cinemas.Propaganda, Protest, and Poisonous Vipers: The Cinema War in Korea|Rich Goldstein|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A furious controversy concerning this picture had arisen among art critics.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
A burning controversy between the Averroists and the orthodox schoolmen.The Mediaeval Mind (Volume II of II)|Henry Osborn Taylor
You will grant that the individual in the controversy would likely be able to judge more correctly with regard to values?The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
There is much controversy as to whether stop-keys will eventually displace the older fashioned draw-knobs.The Recent Revolution in Organ Building|George Laing Miller
What action will have this effect is a fact to be proved whenever the controversy arises.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman|Albert Sidney Bolles