Contentious Con*ten"tious, a. [L. contentiosus: cf. F. contentieux.] 1. Fond of contention; given to angry debate; provoking dispute or contention; quarrelsome. [1913 Webster]

Despotic and contentious temper. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

2. Relating to contention or strife; involving or characterized by contention. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

More cheerful, though not less contentious, regions. --Brougham. [1913 Webster]

3. (Law) Contested; litigated; litigious; having power to decide controversy. [1913 Webster]

{Contentious jurisdiction} (Eng. Eccl. Law), jurisdiction over matters in controversy between parties, in contradistinction to {voluntary jurisdiction}, or that exercised upon matters not opposed or controverted.

Syn: Quarrelsome; pugnacious; dissentious; wrangling; litigious; perverse; peevish. -- {Con*ten"tious*ly}, adv. -- {Con*ten"tious*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • contentious — [kən ten′shəs] adj. [ME contencios < L contentiosus: see CONTENTION] 1. always ready to argue; quarrelsome 2. of or marked by contention 3. provoking or likely to provoke controversy [a contentious proposal] SYN. BELLIGERENT contentiously adv …   English World dictionary

  • contentious — I adjective aggressive, argumentative, bellicose, belligerent, cantankerous, captious, caviling, combative, competitive, contrary, contumacious, cross, discordant, disputatious, dissentious, factious, inimical, irascible, litigious, militant,… …   Law dictionary

  • contentious — c.1500, from M.Fr. contentieux, from L. contentiosus obstinate, quarrelsome, from contentionem (see CONTEND (Cf. contend)). Related: Contentiously; contentiousness …   Etymology dictionary

  • contentious — quarrelsome, bellicose, *belligerent, pugnacious, combative Analogous words: *contrary, perverse, froward: captious, faultfinding, caviling, carping (see CRITICAL): *aggressive, militant Antonyms: peaceable Contrasted words: *pacific …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • contentious — [adj] quarrelsome antagonistic, argumentative, belligerent, combative, disagreeable, factious, perverse, petulant, querulous, testy; concepts 401,542 …   New thesaurus

  • contentious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) causing or likely to cause disagreement or controversy. 2) given to provoking argument. 3) Law relating to or involving differences between contending parties. DERIVATIVES contentiously adverb contentiousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • contentious — [[t]kənte̱nʃəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED A contentious issue causes a lot of disagreement or arguments. [FORMAL] Sanctions are expected to be among the most contentious issues. ...a country where land prices are politically contentious. Syn:… …   English dictionary

  • contentious — con|ten|tious [kənˈtenʃəs] adj 1.) causing a lot of argument and disagreement between people contentious issue/area/subject etc ▪ Animal welfare did not become a contentious issue until the late 1970s. 2.) someone who is contentious often argues… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • contentious — adjective 1) a contentious issue Syn: controversial, disputable, debatable, disputed, open to debate, vexed 2) a contentious debate Syn: heated, vehement, fierce, violent, intense, i …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • contentious — adjective Date: 15th century 1. likely to cause contention < a contentious argument > 2. exhibiting an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes < a man of a most contentious nature > Synonyms: see belligerent • contentiously …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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