Thesaurus

contentious

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of contentious

  1. 1 feeling or displaying eagerness to fight the Tartars were a contentious people who terrorized much of Asia and eastern Europe during the Middle Ages Synonyms of contentious aggressive, agonistic, argumentative, assaultive, bellicose, brawly, chippy, combative, confrontational, belligerent, discordant, disputatious, feisty, gladiatorial, militant, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent, warlikeWords Related to contentious antagonistic, fierce, hostile, hot-tempered; acidic, bearish, bilious, bristly, choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, disagreeable, dyspeptic, fractious, fretful, grouchy, grumpy, huffy, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, irascible, irritable, ornery, peevish, pettish, petulant, prickly, querulous, rude, snappish, snappy, stroppy [British], surly, testy, touchy, ugly, waspish; savage, vicious; battling, fighting, warringNear Antonyms of contentious anti-imperialist, antimilitarist, unwarlike; affable, amiable, amicable, benevolent, complaisant, conciliatory, cordial, easygoing, friendly, genial, good-natured, good-tempered, gracious, ingratiating, kindhearted, obliging, pleasant, sociable; calm, quiet, relaxed, serene, tranquil; benign, gentle, kindly, mildAntonyms of contentious nonaggressive, nonbelligerent, pacific, peaceable, peaceful, unbelligerent, uncombative, uncontentious

  2. 2 given to arguing a tiresomely contentious person who likes to argue for the sake of arguing Synonyms of contentious argumentative, controversial, disputatious, polemical (also polemic), quarrelsome, scrappyWords Related to contentious aggressive, bellicose, belligerent, combative, gladiatorial, militant, pugnacious, truculent, warlike; feisty, fractious, surly; balky, contrary, ornery, perverse, restive, wayward; disobedient, froward, insubordinate, intractable, recalcitrant, refractory; hardheaded, headstrong, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, pigheaded, resistant, self-opinionated, self-willed, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, uncooperative, unreasonable, unyielding, willful (or wilful); acidic, bearish, bilious, cantankerous, captious, choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, disagreeable, dyspeptic, fretful, grouchy, grumpy, huffy, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, irascible, irritable, peevish, pettish, petulant, querulous, rude, snappish, snappy, splenetic, testy, touchy, waspish; battling, fighting, warringNear Antonyms of contentious affable, amiable, amicable, benevolent, cordial, easygoing, friendly, genial, good-natured, good-tempered, gracious, ingratiating, pleasant, sociable; acquiescent, agreeable, amenable, complaisant, compliant, complying, conciliatory, cooperative, obliging; docile, obedient, submissive, tractable; pacific, peaceable, peaceful

  3. 3 relating to or causing the expression of opposing opinions gun control is likely to be a contentious subject in any group discussion Synonyms of contentious argumentative, controversial, disputatious, hot-button, polemical (also polemic)Words Related to contentious delicate, difficult, knotty, problematic (also problematical), spiny, thorny, ticklish, touchy, toughNear Antonyms of contentious incontestable, incontrovertible, indisputable, indubitable, undeniable, unquestionable; irrefutable; uncontested, undisputedAntonyms of contentious noncontroversial, safe, uncontroversial

Synonym Discussion of contentious

belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, quarrelsome, contentious mean having an aggressive or fighting attitude. belligerent often implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities.
    • belligerent nations
bellicose suggests a disposition to fight.
    • a drunk in a bellicose mood
pugnacious suggests a disposition that takes pleasure in personal combat.
    • a pugnacious gangster
quarrelsome stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause.
    • the heat made us all quarrelsome
contentious implies perverse and irritating fondness for arguing and quarreling.
    • wearied by his contentious disposition


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