contention

noun
con·​ten·​tion | \ kən-ˈten(t)-shən How to pronounce contention (audio) \

Definition of contention

1 : a point advanced or maintained in a debate or argument It is his contention that allowing a casino to be built would not be in the best interests of the city.
2 : an act or instance of contending He has taken himself out of contention for the directorship.

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Synonyms for contention

Synonyms

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discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism. a political party long racked by discord 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 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 contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy. several points of contention about the new zoning law dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions. religious dissension threatened to split the colony 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

Examples of contention in a Sentence

Tiger Woods splashed his way into contention in the New Zealand Open … shooting a four under par to close within six strokes of the lead. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2002 The issues behind the protest are the usual bones of collective-bargaining contention: pay increases, vacation time, union membership. — Louis Menand, New Yorker, 17 & 24 June 2002 Science, and academic scholarship in general, the contention these days goes, is too subjective. Some even allege it's entirely subjective, as is, they say, history. — Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996 All quotes from QDB. That has been a source of contention for years. He is in contention for the Olympic medal.
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Recent Examples on the Web Brandeis remains comfortably in playoff contention, but much can change in the crowded District 28-6A race. Zach Mason, San Antonio Express-News, 23 Oct. 2021 Clemson has fallen out of playoff contention thanks to its 4-2 start, but its defense remains one of the nation’s best. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, 22 Oct. 2021 Athletic, eliminated from postseason contention, improves to 11-14-4 and with 37 points, and is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, 12 points behind fourth place Miami. Staff Reports, courant.com, 17 Oct. 2021 Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. Al.com Reports, al, 16 Oct. 2021 That unit led the league in turnovers last season, keeping the team in playoff contention, but this season ranks 24th in rushing defense and 27th against the pass. New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021 The majority of the teams FCC will face over its six remaining matches are in some level of playoff contention. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 14 Oct. 2021 While there is still half a season to be played, an argument could be made that BYU just eliminated itself from playoff contention and a New Year’s Six bowl. Norma Gonzalez, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Oct. 2021 Needing a sweep, the Giants lose two of three and are eliminated from postseason contention. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for contention

Middle English contencioun "dissension, dispute," borrowed from Anglo-French cuntençun, contencion, borrowed from Latin contentiōn-, contentiō "exertion, competition, conflict," from conten-, variant stem of contendere "to strain, make an effort, strive, compete" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at contend

Note: Regarding the variant -ten- with deverbal suffixes beginning in -t- (so contentiō rather than *contensiō), see the note at tender entry 3.

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Time Traveler for contention

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

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Dictionary Entries Near contention

contented

contention

contentional

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Statistics for contention

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contention.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contention. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for contention

contention

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contention

: something (such as a belief, opinion, or idea) that is argued or stated
: anger and disagreement
: a situation in which you have a chance to win something that you are trying to win

contention

noun
con·​ten·​tion | \ kən-ˈten-chən How to pronounce contention (audio) \

Kids Definition of contention

1 : something that is argued It's my contention that watching television is a waste of time.
2 : anger and disagreement
3 : a state or situation of having a chance to win She's in contention for the gold medal.

More from Merriam-Webster on contention

Nglish: Translation of contention for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contention for Arabic Speakers

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