Definition of controversy in English:



  • Disagreement, typically when prolonged, public, and heated.

    ‘he sometimes caused controversy because of his forceful views’
    [count noun] ‘the announcement ended a protracted controversy’
    • ‘There is no reason to think this latest controversy will end any differently.’
    • ‘Then the police were subject to a storm of political conflict and controversy.’
    • ‘For a century, they bestrode court and country, privy to the innermost controversy.’
    • ‘It is the latest in a line of complaints about the tip which has been the source of much controversy since it opened.’
    • ‘This line of argument takes us swiftly into huge controversy because it goes to the heart of how we parent.’
    • ‘Within each of these two systems of thought and action there is controversy and argument.’
    • ‘Thanks to recent controversy, this last visit has taken on a greater importance than usual.’
    • ‘A storm of controversy continues to rage over changes to bus services in Colchester.’
    • ‘The long-term effects of cannabis on the body are still a matter of controversy.’
    • ‘The application is expected to cause controversy when it is finally submitted.’
    • ‘The legal controversy has been just one problem attending the couple's wedding plans.’
    • ‘I have, moreover, sought to alert the reader to key debates and points of controversy.’
    • ‘After a few years of vigorous controversy the second great debate petered out.’
    • ‘There is room for debate and controversy, and there is the stuff of real division.’
    • ‘This ascription has notoriously become a matter of debate and controversy in the modern era.’
    • ‘This past week has seen more controversy arising from Sunday's live televised match.’
    • ‘Scholars come and go and its attribution is a constant source of controversy.’
    • ‘The good thing is that my work continues to raise a lot of controversy and dialogue.’
    • ‘The controversy over the bodies in the mortuary continues, but this time at national level.’
    • ‘He will knowingly enter a mild scuffle of controversy not of his own making.’
    disagreement, dispute, argument, debate, dissension, contention, disputation, altercation, wrangle, quarrel, squabble, war of words, storm
    wrangling, quarrelling, squabbling, bickering
    cause célèbre
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Late Middle English: from Latin controversia, from controversus turned against, disputed from contro- (variant of contra- against) + versus, past participle of vertere to turn.