dis·​pu·​ta·​tious | \ ˌdi-spyə-ˈtā-shəs How to pronounce disputatious (audio) \

Definition of disputatious

1a : inclined to dispute
b : marked by disputation
2 : provoking debate : controversial

Other Words from disputatious

disputatiously adverb
disputatiousness noun

The History of Disputatious Isn't Controversial

Disputatious can be used of both people and things. Disputatious people like to provoke arguments or find something to disagree about. In the "things" category, the word can apply to both situations and issues. For example, court trials are disputatious; that is, they are marked by disputation, or verbal controversy. An issue or matter is disputatious if it provokes controversy. However, if a matter, such as an assertion made by someone, is open to question rather than downright controversial, it's merely disputable. In any case, there's no arguing that both disputatious and its synonym disputative have changed their connotation somewhat from their Latin source, the verb disputare. That word means simply "to discuss."

Examples of disputatious in a Sentence

a long history of little wars waged by the disputatious countries occupying that European peninsula a disputatious professor who could give you an argument on just about anything
Recent Examples on the Web Its lament resonates for art once seen as a disputatious civic forum, now overrun by the hard coin of investment markets. Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2021 In his interviews, Harris adopts a drowsy monotone that seems pitched to signal his commitment to the dispassionate promotion of disputatious ideas. Gideon Lewis-kraus, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 In the first, 100 brothers, of the same parents, gather in their family’s dilapidated library for a splendidly disputatious meal. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2021 That sense of weighty expectation feels heightened this year, as a fragile, disputatious America prepares for an enormous mobilization to manufacture and distribute hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to finally bring the pandemic under control. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, 20 Dec. 2020 Manet’s buddy Charles Baudelaire, the disputatious journalist, poet and art critic, described artists’ emerging role as being painters of modern life, and urbanity seeped into many private nooks and crannies. Los Angeles Times, 22 Oct. 2019 Giving meaningful shape to monuments and memorials in this disputatious era is no easy task. Julie V. Iovine., WSJ, 24 Oct. 2018 But the lifestyle of this most disputatious group took its toll on Welch, who felt estranged from the McVies. Morgan Enos, Billboard, 10 Apr. 2018 Trump has remained disputatious on this point, even up until last week, when U.S. intelligence services had been working for him for nearly six months. Jeet Heer, New Republic, 14 July 2017

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

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of disputatious was in 1660

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disputatious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disputatious. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on disputatious

Britannica English: Translation of disputatious for Arabic Speakers


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