controversy

noun
con·​tro·​ver·​sy | \ ˈkän-trə-ˌvər-sē How to pronounce controversy (audio) , 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

Its year-to-date gain of 13% matches that of the broad index and is less than half the gains mounted by rival Facebook, despite the latter’s continued controversies with content, user privacy and executive reshuffling.... Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Google Can’t Please Everyone," 31 Mar. 2019 And along with those exclusives, of course, came more controversy. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "The Epic Games Store won't always push for exclusives 'at this scale'," 21 Mar. 2019 Although the awards have yet to air, this year's show has already been a cause for controversy. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Here's Everything to Know About the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards," 16 Mar. 2019 But questions are also swirling about how Smollett’s offscreen controversy will impact the fate of the show, which has yet to be renewed for a sixth season. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Jussie Smollett Will Be Back on Empire Tonight," 13 Mar. 2019 Her two half-siblings, who've also started their own controversies in the press, were not present. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Everything We Know About Meghan Markle's Family," 4 Mar. 2019 But controversy can come when the celebs step into the comments. Kara Brown, Marie Claire, "Our Lady of Shade," 1 Mar. 2019 But when Julia Roberts opened that envelope and revealed that this year's winner was Green Book—the 1960s-set race relations drama which has become a lightning rod for controversy since its November release—the online reaction was swift and brutal. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Green Book Won Best Picture and Twitter Is Not Happy," 25 Feb. 2019 Sadly, a string of controversies and bad behavior has been distracting from Jake's success as of late. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Jake Paul's Biggest Controversies," 26 Sep. 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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Statistics for controversy

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce controversy (audio) \
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 How to pronounce controversy (audio) \
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 How to pronounce controversial (audio) \ adjective

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