follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

contentious

[kuh n-ten-shuh s] /kənˈtɛn ʃəs/
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
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English contenciose < Latin contentiōsus, equivalent to contenti(ō) contention + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
contentiously, adverb
contentiousness, noun
noncontentious, adjective
noncontentiously, adverb
overcontentious, adjective
overcontentiously, adverb
overcontentiousness, noun
uncontentious, adjective
uncontentiously, adverb
uncontentiousness, noun
Synonyms
1. disputatious, argumentative.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for contentious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Anyway it was plain that she could not get very far by arguing with him—he was getting stubborn, argumentative, contentious.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
  • There is nothing to indicate that he was contentious by nature.

    Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark Jens Christian Aaberg
  • The following is a list of the names and dates (these latter being sometimes doubtful and contentious) of his plays.

  • Of the contentious scribes He asked: "What question ye with them?"

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • We require to make the terms of admission strict, to guard against spies, and those who are contentious or quarrelsome.

    The Life of James Renwick Thomas Houston
British Dictionary definitions for contentious

contentious

/kənˈtɛnʃəs/
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 Forms
contentiously, adverb
contentiousness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for contentious

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for contentious

13
17
Scrabble Words With Friends