HOME > LOOK UP & LEARN

V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



contentious

adjective

Definition: 1. likely to cause an argument or controversy; 2. intending or likely to argue or fight; 3. hostile, aggressive, tense, and quarrelsome

Synonyms: belligerent, argumentative, controversial, quarrelsome, combative, antagonistic, aggressive, hostile, litigious

Antonyms: agreeable, passive, nice

Tips: The related word contend means "to argue that something is the truth." Contentious describes things that are likely to cause such an argument or an argumentative and tense situation. Do not be tricked by the root content; there is no content (happiness) in a contentious situation--there is actually contention (disagreement). You may have heard the phrase "point of contention." This means "a point of argument or disagreement." In a contentious (disagreeable) argument, there are numerous points of contention (disagreement) to contend (deal, try to prove true) with.

Usage Examples:

His contentious remarks regularly caused gossip and controversy among staff members. (controversial, disagreeable)

Politics is a contentious subject in our house, so we don't discuss it much. (argumentative, controversial)

In order to get a good story, the reporter asked the politician contentious questions to try to provoke him. (argumentative, antagonistic)

It was a rather contentious meeting; several arguments ensued. (hostile, quarrelsome)


Want to Learn More Words Like contentious?
Discover How You Can Improve Your
Vocabulary 10 to 100 Times Faster with
the Power Vocabulary Builder

Dear Friend,

The definition and lessons for the word contentious were made available by the Power Vocabulary Builder.

The Power Vocabulary Builder will help you develop a fuller, richer vocabulary 10 to 100 times faster than any other program available.

Visit the the Power Vocabulary Builder site right now to discover how you can get full access to this breakthrough program today!

What's your vocabulary level?
Power Vocabulary Builder
FREE E-mail Course!

Drop your details in the boxes below to receive a FREE vocabulary course: