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contentious (adj) causing quarrel or disagreement (issue, topic, subject, etc.); (of a person) tending to argue.

A contentious issue is a matter which may cause a dispute, a quarrel, or an argument between two parties. A contentious topic is a topic of discussion between the two. Kashmir, for example, is a contentious issue between India and Pakistan. That is, Kashmir is the cause of the fight between the two countries. The sharing of the property is a contentious issue between the two brothers, if they are unable to reach an agreement on the shares. A person who has a tendency to argue or quarrel is a contentious person. They pick up quarrels and arguments easily.

  • The abolition of slavery was so contentious an issue between the southern and the northern states of the US that it finally led to a civil war during President Lincolnís tenure.
  • By nature, Charlie is contentious and has grown into a contentious person. He picks up argument even about the least contentious matter to the point of annoyance of those he argues with.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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