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.

Synonyms for contention

Synonyms

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Friends, family and employees of Depp have taken the stand and backed up his contention. CBS News, 6 May 2022 Friends, family and employees of Depp have taken the stand and backed up his contention. Matthew Barakat, ajc, 5 May 2022 Depp's team hopes Curry's testimony bolsters their contention that Heard was the aggressor in the couple's troubled relationship. Matthew Barakat, Chron, 26 Apr. 2022 Depp’s team hopes Curry’s testimony bolsters their contention that Heard was the aggressor in the couple’s troubled relationship. Matthew Barakat, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2022 Gibson recently reiterated in a social media post his contention that Griffin shares responsibility for the current state of Arkansas' criminal justice system. Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Online, 28 Mar. 2022 But his basic contention looks prescient right now. Rich Lowry, National Review, 25 Feb. 2022 My contention is that dismantling the existing system without a replacement will harm independent artists. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 10 Feb. 2022 After the Bucks played Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings, coach Mike Budenholzer repeated his contention that the injury was an accident. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of contention

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for contention

Middle English contencioun "dissension, dispute," borrowed from Anglo-French cuntençun, contencion, borrowed from Latin contentiōn-, contentiō "exertion, competition, conflict," from conten-, variant stem of contendere "to strain, make an effort, strive, compete" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at contend

Note: Regarding the variant -ten- with deverbal suffixes beginning in -t- (so contentiō rather than *contensiō), see the note at tender entry 3.

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Time Traveler for contention

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

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Dictionary Entries Near contention

contented

contention

contentional

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Statistics for contention

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contention.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contention. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for contention

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on contention

Nglish: Translation of contention for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contention for Arabic Speakers

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