a struggling together in opposition; strife.
a striving in rivalry; competition; contest.
strife in debate; dispute; controversy.
a point contended for or affirmed in controversy.

1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin contentiōn- (stem of contentiō), equivalent to content(us), past participle of contendere to contend (con- con- + tentus, variant of tēnsus; see tense1) + -iōn- -ion

contentional, adjective
noncontention, noun
precontention, noun

1. conflict, combat. 3. disagreement, dissension, debate, altercation.

3. agreement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
contention (kənˈtɛnʃən)
1.  a struggling between opponents; competition
2.  dispute in an argument (esp in the phrase bone of contention)
3.  a point asserted in argument
[C14: from Latin contentiō exertion, from contendere to contend]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. contention, from L. contentionem, from stem of contendere (see contend).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see bone of contention.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The cause of the four-limbed locomotion, however, is a bone of contention among
  the researchers.
The digital music doubters could be right with the contention that advertising
  revenue can't cover the costs of licensing music.
But how anthropoid primates originated has been a subject of frequent
So the contention that you need today's electronic technology to teach or learn
  is vacuous on the face of it.
Idioms & Phrases
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