Synonyms & Antonyms of contention

1 an idea or opinion that is put forth in a discussion or debate
  • my contention is that today's lower batting averages are the result of better pitching

Synonyms for contention

Words Related to contention

2 an earnest effort for superiority or victory over another
  • several actresses seem to be in heated contention for the title of "worst dressed"

Synonyms for contention

Words Related to contention

Near Antonyms for contention

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About contention

How does the noun contention contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of contention are conflict, discord, dissension, strife, and variance. While all these words mean "a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony," contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy.

several points of contention about the new zoning law

When would conflict be a good substitute for contention?

The synonyms conflict and contention are sometimes interchangeable, but conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires.

the conflict of freedom and responsibility

Where would discord be a reasonable alternative to contention?

In some situations, the words discord and contention are roughly equivalent. However, discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism.

a political party long racked by discord

When can dissension be used instead of contention?

While in some cases nearly identical to contention, dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions.

religious dissension threatened to split the colony

When is it sensible to use strife instead of contention?

The words strife and contention can be used in similar contexts, but strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved.

during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife

When might variance be a better fit than contention?

The meanings of variance and contention largely overlap; however, variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest.

cultural variances that work against a national identity

Learn More About contention

Time Traveler for contention

Time Traveler

The first known use of contention was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near contention




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Contention.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on contention

Nglish: Translation of contention for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contention for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!