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controversial Syllabification: con·tro·ver·sial
Pronunciation: /ˌkäntrəˈvərSHəl/

Definition of controversial in English:


Giving rise or likely to give rise to public disagreement: years of wrangling over a controversial bypass
More example sentences
  • Pay hikes awarded to council bosses mirror the highly controversial rises in council tax.
  • Ian Waugh looks at the rise of one of the country's most controversial political figures.
  • The debate over the use of cannabis in medicine is controversial and emotive.
contentious, disputed, at issue, disputable, debatable, arguable, vexed, tendentious
informal hot


Late 16th century: from late Latin controversialis, from controversia (see controversy).



Pronunciation: /ˌkäntrəˈvərSHələst/
Example sentences
  • Yet neither public policymakers nor the controversialists who harass them can reasonably expect to enter a new year without making some kind of assessment of what the next 12 months may hold.
  • There is something about the Hitchens family that breeds controversialists with deft pens.
  • Of course I'm a professional controversialist but, once my copy is filed, I'm invariably the person at any gathering murmuring, ‘Oh, let's just agree to disagree!’

Words that rhyme with controversial

commercial, Herschel, inertial, infomercial

Definition of controversial in:

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Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly