controversial

adjective con·tro·ver·sial \ ˌkän-trə-ˈvər-shəl , -ˈvər-sē-əl \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of controversial

1 : of, relating to, or arousing controversy
  • a controversial policy
  • a controversial film
2 : given to controversy : disputatious
  • a controversial temperament
  • The controversial biologist caused a ferment among his colleagues.

controversialism

play \ˌkän-trə-ˈvər-shə-ˌli-zəm, -sē-ə-ˌli-\ noun

controversialist

play \ˌkän-trə-ˈvər-shə-list, -sē-ə-list\ noun

controversially

adverb

Examples of controversial in a Sentence

  1. Abortion is a highly controversial subject.

  2. a decision that remains controversial

  3. He is a controversial author.

Recent Examples of controversial from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of controversial


CONTROVERSIAL Defined for English Language Learners

controversial

adjective

Definition of controversial for English Language Learners

  • : relating to or causing much discussion, disagreement, or argument : likely to produce controversy


CONTROVERSIAL Defined for Kids

controversial

adjective con·tro·ver·sial \ ˌkän-trə-ˈvər-shəl \

Definition of controversial for Students

: relating to or causing disagreement or argument
  • a controversial law


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