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We started with the most contentious item on the agenda.
  causing or likely to cause disagreement; or argumentative
 Mark word for later review on this computer
contentious contentiously contentiousness
Strongly Associated with:   contend, contend, contend, contented
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  • We started with the most contentious item on the agenda.
  • a central and contentious element of the book
  • a style described as abrasive and contentious
  • Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious.

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  • An old man, afflicted with a family of contentious Sons, brought in a bundle of sticks and asked the young men to break it.
    Aesop  --  Fables
  • Now, eight years after her contentious funeral ... he changed his mind.
    Toni Morrison  --  Beloved
  • "Samuel," she said, "you’re the most contentious man this world has ever seen."
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • the contentious waves
    William Shakespeare  --  The Tempest
  • this contentious storm
    William Shakespeare  --  King Lear
  • "’It is better,’" I recited piously, "’to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house with a contentious woman."
    Katherine Paterson  --  Jacob Have I Loved

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  • THE AMERICAN League Championship was so hotly contentious that year, I could barely stand to watch the games.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • He became contentious and started making comments that were audible to the judge.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • They are a contentious race, in constant discord with one another, and when they have civil wars Earth’s surface is thrown off-kilter.
    Pittacus Lore  --  I Am Number Four
  • My visit had been awkward, tense, even contentious.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • Their relationship was sometimes contentious.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • "Ain’t got no mother," was the answer, "and their paw’s right contentious."
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • His face had lately adopted an expression of playful contentiousness.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • PARRIS: Giles Corey, sir, and a more contentious
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • The event was often informal, contentious and unruly.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • It is the beauty of small areas of order—a large yard, a group of trees, three similar dormitories, a circle of old houses—living together in contentious harmony.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • The clans have ever been contentious; what pleases one infuriates another.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • Josie had been contentious for a week now, ever since the fiasco at Lacy’s house.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • "Well!" said Stryver, slapping the desk with his contentious hand, opening his eyes wider, and taking a long breath, "if I understand you, Mr. Lorry, I’ll be hanged!"
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • till, at the twilight hour, when one who hears and judges pleas in the marketplace all day between contentious men, goes home to supper, the long poles at last reared from the sea.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • He pointed directly to the contentious blond girl in back with the cell phone.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • But I must remind you that Mr. Miyamoto here is on trial for murder in the first degree, that such is the focus of this court’s concern, and that any contentiousness about legal ownership of land will have to be addressed in a civil court, madam.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Their voices rose in a roar like a crashing avalanche; most of them had gathered into contentious, shouting groups—the dais was deserted, the map of Idris hanging forlornly behind it.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Glass
  • Larry Wakeford stares in silence at the blonde, butch-cut, mischievously cocked head of a student-a delightfully contentious senior named Leslie-and notices a ray of late afternoon sunlight reflecting off her nostril stud.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • The pair were speeding away into the distant gray by the time that the contentious revellers became aware of what had happened.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • His countenance had, perhaps for years, become so set in its contentious expression that it did not soften, even now when he was quiet.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • It was as though the sirens heralded the presence of some cont rolling mechanism—a thing we would do well not to provoke with our contentiousness and spilled food.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • With his guards in tow, Eragon struck out in a random direction, allowing his feet to carry him where they would while he pondered methods of welding the dwarves’ contentious factions into a whole united against Galbatorix.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • In the second, the apartment was his home, and he was lounging on the sofa, laughing uproariously as Charlie, for my benefit, reminisced about those contentious dinner-table lessons in American idioms.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Strength in What Remains
  • "Now, Ben, he was a Roman—let me tell," said Letty, using her elbow contentiously.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • "How different?" he inquired, solemnly and contentiously, taking up a glass and drinking from it.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • In order to raise the money for it he would have to be able to offer something novel, some new discovery or cure, in a field that is already crowded and also very contentious.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • —Communist pamphlet (5) If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul.
    George Orwell  --  Politics and the English Language
  • This trial is one of courtesy, not contentious deliberation.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • He "abhorred dispute," as he said, shrank from the contentiousness of politics, and instinctively avoided confrontation of any kind.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
    The Bible  --  Proverbs
  • The purpose of the assignment is to instill a degree of contentiousness on the part of the one driving the car.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • They talked about other, less contentious things and by the time they said good-bye they were friends again, though he didn’t tell her he loved her.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • I do not make funniness about humanitarianism as I used to; sometimes now I t’ink the vulgar and contentious human race may yet have as much grace and good taste as the cats.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • From now on, when President Kennedy wants a contentious point made to his cabinet or advisers, he will rely on Bobby, who will then speak for the president and endure any subsequent criticism or argument so as not to weaken his big brother.
    Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Kennedy
  • Women who are never bitter and resentful are often the most querulous; and if Solomon was as wise as he is reputed to be, I feel sure that when he compared a contentious woman to a continual dropping on a very rainy day, he had not a vixen in his eye—a fury with long nails, acrid and selfish.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • They carried everything to extremes, these two, as was probably necessary for the sake of argument, and squabbled fiercely over the most extreme choices, whereas it seemed to him that what one might, in a spirit of conciliation, declare truly human or humane had to lie somewhere in the middle of this intolerant contentiousness, somewhere between rhetorical humanism and illiterate barbarism.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • We found to our surprise that our preschool audience didn’t like it when the adult cast got into a contentious discussion," he remembers.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • I said, "It looks then as though the natural contentiousness of people has died.
    John Steinbeck  --  Travels with Charley
  • Adieu dear comrade, Your mission is fulfill’d—but I, more warlike, Myself and this contentious soul of mine, Still on our own campaigning bound, Through untried roads with ambushes opponents lined, Through many a sharp defeat and many a crisis, often baffled, Here marching, ever marching on, a war fight out—aye here, To fiercer, weightier battles give expression.
    Walt Whitman  --  Leaves of Grass
  • "No, no, no," replied this individual, who was blond and vigorous and by nature a little irritable and contentious.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
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Associated words [difficulty]:   contentious [4] , contend [3] , contend [3] , contend [2] , contented [1]
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