Definition of contention in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Heated disagreement:

    ‘the captured territory was the main area of contention between the two countries’
    • ‘The defendant disputes the claimant's contention that they failed in their duty to notify and consult.’
    • ‘It has been the origin of a lot of discord and a lot of contention over consents.’
    • ‘Roth says he was immediately drawn to the novel, which had a history of contention all its own.’
    • ‘One area of contention is whether a confession made by a co-defendant may be tendered by a defendant.’
    • ‘The basis for this contention among British doctors seems even more tenuous.’
    • ‘Another area of much contention is the desired level of channel control sought by the manufacturer.’
    • ‘The appellants dispute this contention by reference to the principle as formulated by them.’
    • ‘The absence of independent testing of milk has been a source of contention for years.’
    • ‘Ownership has long been a source of contention in the Irish newspaper industry.’
    • ‘Sea power's dominance, however, has been a point of contention among military historians.’
    • ‘But it's not hard to see why this funding bottom line is the main point of contention here.’
    • ‘The pound in a pensioner's pocket or purse has become the latest point of contention for politicians.’
    • ‘Last night he had put himself in medal contention in the decathlon.’
    • ‘One of the main points of contention is the executive compensation issue.’
    • ‘It plainly indicates that a controversy or contention has arisen between the parties.’
    • ‘This diversity is one of the main points of contention between astrologers themselves.’
    • ‘An e-voting system like this is an invitation for fraud, and sure to be a point of contention when the votes are counted.’
    • ‘So the only area of contention is the area of where we are investigating behaviour that may be unlawful.’
    • ‘One of the main points of contention between the two sides was shift scheduling.’
    • ‘A common area of contention is the time the new home will be complete.’
    disagreement, dispute, disputation, argument, variance
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  • 2[count noun] An assertion, especially one maintained in argument:

    ‘Freud's contention that all dreams were wish fulfilment’
    • ‘It is my contention that she didn't really betray anyone, and that the real agents of betrayal in all of this are the media.’
    • ‘But to this point, the administration has offered few direct answers to the particular contentions of the critics.’
    • ‘In our view there are two conclusive answers to these contentions.’
    • ‘It is my contention that the difference between a monarchy and a republic would be symbolic only.’
    • ‘I agree with her contention that the debate was a good thing for the party, as argued below.’
    • ‘It is not my contention that information must needs run on a parallel track to entertainment.’
    • ‘On teen pregnancy I have to say that official statistics do not support her contention.’
    • ‘Hence the contentions and the arguments of the plaintiff are weak and not legitimate.’
    • ‘There are many, many arguments to consider and contentions to examine.’
    • ‘These contentions were borne out by my direct observation of the police handling of numerous disputes.’
    • ‘We say that if it is necessary, the second respondent in its argument has raised a contention.’
    • ‘There are, almost daily, reporters' observations, columnists' opinions and e-mail complaints that support my contentions.’
    • ‘Indeed, my contention is that everyone in his movies is completely real.’
    • ‘Their contentions are theoretical and ideological, not based on reality.’
    • ‘The statement and evidence of the defendant contains strong specific contentions that the prosecution is politically motivated.’
    • ‘In view of their Lordships, however, such a contention is not maintainable.’
    • ‘I am not saying you do not have arguments against the contentions the applicant would wish to make.’
    • ‘He repeated his earlier contention that the country has enough food to feed its people.’
    • ‘It is my contention that the two groups simply have radically different registers and types of interaction.’
    • ‘This event also paints a picture somewhat at odds with the respondent's contentions that the applicant had no significant input into Xavier's life.’
    argument, claim, plea, submission, allegation
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Late Middle English: from Latin contentio(n-), from contendere strive with (see contend).