controversy

noun
con·​tro·​ver·​sy | \ˈkän-trə-ˌvər-sē, British also kən-ˈträ-və-sē\
plural controversies

Definition of controversy 

1 : a discussion marked especially by the expression of opposing views : dispute The decision aroused a controversy among the students.

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Examples of controversy in a Sentence

The decision aroused much controversy among the students. The new movie is a subject of controversy. There is controversy surrounding the team's decision to trade the star pitcher. The controversy is over whether he should be fired or not. A controversy arose over the new law.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The magazine also features a look at some of the big quarterback controversies facing teams this season and the high-price of keeping talented assistant coaches on staff. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "A guide to top college football preview magazines," 13 July 2018 His practice emphasizes on the areas of taxation, estate and business planning with a special emphasis on tax controversy matters including tax litigation, audits, appeals, offshore disclosure and tax collection defense. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Lawyer re-elected president of Alpert JFCS," 12 July 2018 Schnatter created controversy even before his NFL remarks last year. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Papa John’s founder resigns as chairman after using a racial slur on a call," 12 July 2018 The poll’s exit helped it avoid the final controversies that doomed the BCS. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "Inside the AP's Fateful 2004 Decision to Withdraw Its Poll From the BCS Formula," 12 July 2018 Political controversy posed no challenge for Samantha Bee as the late-night host secured an Emmy nomination for best variety talk series. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Samantha Bee Earns Emmy Nomination Despite Ivanka Trump C-Word Controversy," 12 July 2018 While a pending pipeline that will deliver Russian gas to Germany is a source of genuine controversy within the alliance, Angela Merkel’s country relies on Russia for only 9 percent of its energy consumption. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Ends NATO Summit by Announcing a Diplomatic Breakthrough That Did Not Happen," 12 July 2018 Like Jornet, Steck had encountered controversy around certain climbs, including what may have been his biggest achievement: a 28-hour solo ascent of Annapurna’s lethal south face. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "Are Kilian Jornet's Speed Records Too Good to Be True?," 12 July 2018 But the rapper’s brief rise was also checkered with controversy. NBC News, "Police make second arrest in rapper XXXTentacion's murder," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'controversy.' 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 controversy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for controversy

Middle English controversie, from Anglo-French, from Latin controversia, from controversus disputable, literally, turned against, from contro- (akin to contra-) + versus, past participle of vertere to turn — more at worth

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Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for controversy

The first known use of controversy was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for controversy

controversy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of controversy

: argument that involves many people who strongly disagree about something : strong disagreement about something among a large group of people

controversy

noun
con·​tro·​ver·​sy | \ˈkän-trə-ˌvər-sē \
plural controversies

Kids Definition of controversy

1 : argument that involves many people who strongly disagree about something dispute

controversy

noun
con·​tro·​ver·​sy | \ˈkän-trə-ˌvər-sē Brit also kən-ˈträ-vər-sē \
plural controversies

Legal Definition of controversy 

1 : a state of dispute or disagreement suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollarsU.S. Constitution amend. VII

2 : a civil action involving a real and immediate dispute between parties with adverse interests

Note: Article III of the U.S. Constitution gives the judiciary the power to decide cases and controversies. Article III's limitation of the judicial power to cases or controversies requires that an action brought in the federal court involve parties with standing to sue and questions that are ripe and not moot.

Other Words from controversy

controversial \ ˌkän-​trə-​ˈvər-​shəl, -​ˈvər-​sē-​əl \ adjective

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