Definition of controversy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkäntrəˌvərsē/

noun (plural controversies)

Disagreement, typically when prolonged, public, and heated: he sometimes caused controversy because of his forceful views the announcement ended a protracted controversy
More example sentences
  • He will knowingly enter a mild scuffle of controversy not of his own making.
  • A storm of controversy continues to rage over changes to bus services in Colchester.
  • Then the police were subject to a storm of political conflict and controversy.
disagreement, dispute, argument, debate, dissension, contention, disputation, altercation, wrangle, wrangling, quarrel, quarreling, war of words, storm;
cause célèbre
informal hot potato, minefield
vulgar slang shitstorm


Late Middle English: from Latin controversia, from controversus 'turned against, disputed', from contro- (variant of contra- 'against') + versus, past participle of vertere 'to turn'.

  • This is from Latin controversia, from controversus ‘turned against, disputed’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·tro·ver·sy

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