contention

noun
con·​ten·​tion | \ kən-ˈten(t)-shən How to pronounce contention (audio) \

Definition of contention

1 : a point advanced or maintained in a debate or argument It is his contention that allowing a casino to be built would not be in the best interests of the city.
2 : an act or instance of contending He has taken himself out of contention for the directorship.

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Synonyms for contention

Synonyms

argument, assertion, thesis

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Choose the Right Synonym for contention

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism. a political party long racked by discord strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved. during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires. the conflict of freedom and responsibility contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy. several points of contention about the new zoning law dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions. religious dissension threatened to split the colony variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest. cultural variances that work against a national identity

Examples of contention in a Sentence

Tiger Woods splashed his way into contention in the New Zealand Open … shooting a four under par to close within six strokes of the lead. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2002 The issues behind the protest are the usual bones of collective-bargaining contention: pay increases, vacation time, union membership. — Louis Menand, New Yorker, 17 & 24 June 2002 Science, and academic scholarship in general, the contention these days goes, is too subjective. Some even allege it's entirely subjective, as is, they say, history. — Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996 All quotes from QDB. That has been a source of contention for years. He is in contention for the Olympic medal.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Indeed, the 2035 emissions cap in House Bill 2020 was one big point of contention. oregonlive.com, "Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she’s ‘not backing down’ on climate change agenda," 2 July 2019 Daryl Morey executed a sign-and-trade with the Clippers two years ago, jumpstarting the Rockets’ fully into title contention. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Five Big Questions Surrounding Jimmy Butler's NBA Free Agency," 27 June 2019 The choice of president for the next European Commission will be the main bone of contention. The Economist, "Europe’s gaseous political alliances," 22 June 2019 Rosenthal also wrote that the team could then try to trade that starter if the Diamondbacks were to fall out of contention. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "MLB trade rumors: Arizona Diamondbacks could be buyers, not sellers at MLB trade deadline," 12 June 2019 The one point of contention about the budget in recent weeks was the City Council’s anticipated expenses. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "National City balances 2019-20 budget with fund balance," 6 June 2019 The point of contention was a number called the Hubble constant, which describes the rate at which the cosmos is expanding and, by extension, how much time has passed since the Big Bang: the slower the expansion rate, the older the universe. Corey S. Powell, Discover Magazine, "Why We Still Don't Know How Fast the Universe is Expanding," 1 Jan. 2019 Earlier, Tiger Woods played himself into contention, edging to within a stroke of the lead on the front nine. Fox News, "Tiger Woods falls just short at the Open Championship; Francesco Molinari wins," 22 July 2018 What followed were a series of hires and signings designed to elevate Trubisky’s performance and, by extension, lift the Bears into playoff contention. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "Mitch Trubisky's ability to command Matt Nagy's offense will define the Bears' season," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contention.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contention

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for contention

Middle English contencioun, from Anglo-French cuntenciun, from Latin contention-, contentio, from contendere

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Statistics for contention

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contention

The first known use of contention was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for contention

contention

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contention

: something (such as a belief, opinion, or idea) that is argued or stated
: anger and disagreement
: a situation in which you have a chance to win something that you are trying to win

contention

noun
con·​ten·​tion | \ kən-ˈten-chən How to pronounce contention (audio) \

Kids Definition of contention

1 : something that is argued It's my contention that watching television is a waste of time.
2 : anger and disagreement
3 : a state or situation of having a chance to win She's in contention for the gold medal.

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Comments on contention

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