Simple Definition of contentious
: likely to cause people to argue or disagree
: involving a lot of arguing
: likely or willing to argue
Full Definition of contentious
1 : likely to cause disagreement or argument <a contentious issue>
2 : exhibiting an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes <a man of a most contentious nature>
Examples of contentious
In the perpetual skirmish between science and religion, biological evolution is a contentious battle ground. —Barry A. Palevitz, Skeptical Inquirer, July/August 1999
Creator Jim Davis had spent two years fine-tuning the contentious relationship between the grouchy cat, his milquetoast owner, Jon (Davis' pen-and-ink alter ego), and befuddled dog Odie—in a strip he'd thought would be called Jon. —Beth Johnson, Entertainment Weekly, 19 June 1998
Historians, admittedly a contentious lot, have failed even to agree on what to call King Philip's War. —Jill Lepore, The Name of War, 1998
My mental attitude when drinking is both contentious and malicious, and while in this mood and state I was the author of statements which I know to be wholly unfounded. —Theodore Dreiser, The Titan, 1914
After a contentious debate, members of the committee finally voted to approve the funding.
The dispute involves one of the region's most contentious leaders.
Origin of contentious
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of contentious
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up contentious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).