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
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.