- tending to argument or strife; quarrelsome: a contentious crew.
- causing, involving, or characterized by argument or controversy: contentious issues.
- Law. pertaining to causes between contending or opposing parties.
- tending to argue or quarrel
- causing or characterized by dispute; controversial
- law relating to a cause or legal business that is contested, esp a probate matter
adj.c.1500, from Middle French contentieux, from Latin contentiosus “obstinate, quarrelsome,” from contentionem (see contend). Related: Contentiously; contentiousness.