Definition of contentious
- a contentious issue
- a man of a most contentious nature
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contentious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
aggressive, argumentative, assaultive, bellicose, belligerent, brawly, combative, confrontational, discordant, disputatious, feisty, gladiatorial, militant, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent, warlike;
affable, amiable, amicable, benevolent, complaisant, conciliatory, cordial, easygoing, friendly, genial, good-natured, good-tempered, gracious, ingratiating, kindhearted, obliging, pleasant, sociable;
acidic, bearish, bilious, bristly, choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, disagreeable, dyspeptic, fractious, fretful, grouchy, grumpy, huffy, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, irascible, irritable, ornery, peevish, pettish, petulant, prickly, querulous, rude, snappish, snappy, surly, testy, touchy, ugly, waspish;
on the warpath;
: likely to cause people to argue or disagree
: involving a lot of arguing
: likely or willing to argue
What made you want to look up contentious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz