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Syllabification: con·tro·ver·sial
Pronunciation: /ˌkäntrəˈvərSHəl
, ˌkäntrəˈvərsēəl

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).



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!’


Example sentences
  • I agree with Kitty completely on that and I would go one stage further and perhaps a little more controversially.
  • Finally, and potentially most controversially, there was the question of where to locate the statue.
  • Perhaps most controversially the report found that many of the girls are willing participants in the exercise.

Definition of controversial in:

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