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

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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 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, "Review: A Getty show rummages around in Edouard Manet’s private shadows," 22 Oct. 2019 Giving meaningful shape to monuments and memorials in this disputatious era is no easy task. Julie V. Iovine., WSJ, "A Shrine to Honor Service," 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, "Lindsey Buckingham Departure: Here's a Crash Course on Fleetwood Mac's Various Lineups," 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, "Kellyanne Conway: Our conspiracy with Russia was so inept, we can’t be held responsible for it.," 14 July 2017 Some of the more disputatious events in recent years involving the state police and Matthews are mentioned in the suit, matters running from staffing levels to speeding ticket quotas. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "State Police Union Sues Over Retaliation," 7 July 2017 Frantic, disputatious, protective, distracted, shambolic, disheveled? Boris Fishman, New York Times, "Just Another Nutty June Weekend in the Rockaways," 6 June 2017 Carlson’s show was a success both on television and online, where clips of his segments, which are frequently and sometimes obnoxiously disputatious, are reborn as viral videos. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, "Tucker Carlson’s Fighting Words," 31 Mar. 2017 John Adams was sour and disputatious, and later as president would sign the Sedition Act outlawing criticism of the government. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "At G-20 meeting, it looks more and more like Trump against the world," 5 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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Cite this Entry

“Disputatious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disputatious. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on disputatious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disputatious

Britannica English: Translation of disputatious for Arabic Speakers

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