One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Controversy, opinionated argument; polemics; an instance of this, a dispute. In early use also: †warfare (obsolete).
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Edward Dering (1598–1644), antiquary and religious controversialist. From ancient Greek πόλεμος war + -y; compare ancient Greek (τὰ) πολέμια matters of war (Herodotus, Thucydides), use as noun of neuter plural of πολέμιος of or belonging to war, hostile (from πόλεμος war + -ιος, suffix forming adjectives).
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