One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘the contentious issue of abortion’
controversial, disputable, debatable, disputed, contended, open to debate, open to question, moot, vexed
ambivalent, equivocal, unsure, uncertain, unresolved, undecided, unsettled, borderline
2‘a contentious debate’
heated, vehement, fierce, violent, intense, impassioned, committed
argumentative, quarrelsome, disputatious, disputative, confrontational, captious, factious, cavilling, pugnacious, combative, ready for a fight, defiant, hostile, antagonistic, bellicose, belligerent, militant, warring, fighting, battling
irascible, cantankerous, irritable, petulant, truculent, fiery, quick-tempered, hot-tempered, ill-tempered, bad-tempered, choleric
British informal stroppy
North American informal scrappy
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