9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kon-truh-vur-see; British also kuh n-trov-er-see] /ˈkɒn trəˌvɜr si; British also kənˈtrɒv ər si/
noun, plural controversies.
a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion.
contention, strife, or argument.
Origin of controversy
1350-1400; Middle English controversie (< Anglo-French) < Latin contrōversia, equivalent to contrōvers(us) turned against, disputed (contrō-, variant of contrā against, + versus, past participle of vertere to turn) + -ia -y3
Related forms
precontroversy, noun, plural precontroversies.
1. disagreement, altercation. 2. quarrel, wrangle. See argument. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for controversy
  • But as the visitors arrive at the ancient wonder, they encounter a modern controversy.
  • In the scientific community there is no controversy.
  • And then there was the controversy about the chicken soup.
  • Don't really understand why this hype and controversy is created by some scholars.
  • Wish he was here to see all the controversy his biography is causing.
  • We cannot expect to remove either from the range of controversy.
  • The odds are that the whole question is not worth the poorest thought which the scholar has lost in listening to the controversy.
  • But the practice of stage representation reduces everything to a controversy of elocution.
  • The same point is frequently at this day a matter of controversy in the wine countries.
  • The tiny bones have stirred controversy since they were first revealed and could alter understanding of early human evolution.
British Dictionary definitions for controversy


/ˈkɒntrəˌvɜːsɪ; kənˈtrɒvəsɪ/
noun (pl) -sies
dispute, argument, or debate, esp one concerning a matter about which there is strong disagreement and esp one carried on in public or in the press
Derived Forms
controversial (ˌkɒntrəˈvɜːʃəl) adjective
controversialism, noun
controversialist, noun
controversially, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin contrōversia, from contrōversus turned in an opposite direction, from contra- + vertere to turn
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
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Word Origin and History for controversy

late 14c., from Old French controversie or directly from Latin controversia, from controversus "turned in an opposite direction, disputed, turned against," from contra- "against" (see contra) + versus (see verse).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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