Essential Meaning of contentious
1 : likely to cause people to argue or disagree I think it's wise to avoid such a highly contentious [=controversial] topic/issue at a dinner party.
2 : involving a lot of arguing After a contentious debate, members of the committee finally voted to approve the funding. They have a contentious relationship. [=they argue with each other a lot]
3 : likely or willing to argue a contentious student The dispute involves one of the region's most contentious leaders.
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
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