Contention Con*ten"tion, n. [F. contention, L. contentio. See {Contend}.] 1. A violent effort or struggle to obtain, or to resist, something; contest; strife. [1913 Webster]

I would my arms could match thee in contention. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Strife in words; controversy; altercation; quarrel; dispute; as, a bone of contention. [1913 Webster]

Contentions and strivings about the law. --Titus iii. 9. [1913 Webster]

3. Vehemence of endeavor; eagerness; ardor; zeal. [1913 Webster]

An end . . . worthy our utmost contention to obtain. --Rogers. [1913 Webster]

4. A point maintained in an argument, or a line of argument taken in its support; the subject matter of discussion or strife; a position taken or contended for. [1913 Webster]

All men seem agreed what is to be done; the contention is how the subject is to be divided and defined. --Bagehot. [1913 Webster]

This was my original contention, and I still maintain that you should abide by your former decision. --Jowett.

Syn: Struggle; strife; contest; quarrel; combat; conflict; feud; litigation; controversy; dissension; variance; disagreement; debate; competition; emulation.

Usage: {Contention}, {Strife}. A struggle between two parties is the idea common to these two words. Strife is a struggle for mastery; contention is a struggle for the possession of some desired object, or the accomplishment of some favorite end. Neither of the words is necessarily used in a bad sense, since there may be a generous strife or contention between two friends as to which shall incur danger or submit to sacrifices. Ordinarily, however, these words denote a struggle arising from bad passions. In that case, strife usually springs from a quarrelsome temper, and contention from, a selfish spirit which seeks its own aggrandizement, or is fearful lest others should obtain too much. Strife has more reference to the manner than to the object of a struggle, while contention takes more account of the end to be gained. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • contention — 1. (kon tan sion ; en poésie, de quatre syllabes) s. f. 1°   Effort qu on fait pour exécuter quelque chose, ou pour parvenir à quelque but. •   Il faut toujours faire contention, BOSSUET IV, Prof. 3. •   Ne croyez pas qu il faille se donner… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Contention — may refer to: The main contention, in rhetoric, the main point being argued Resource contention, a general concept in communications and computing, is competition by users of a system for the facility at the same time: Contention… …   Wikipedia

  • contention — CONTENTION. s. f. Débat, dispute. Il y a matière à contention. C est une source de contention éternelle. Il est ennemi de toute contention. Il s émut, il y eut, il survint débat et contention entre tels et tels. [b]f♛/b] Il signifie aussi,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • contention — [kən ten′shən] n. [ME contencioun < OFr contention < L contentio < pp. of contendere: see CONTEND] 1. the act of contending; strife, struggle, controversy, dispute, quarrel, etc. 2. a statement or point that one argues for as true or… …   English World dictionary

  • contention — [n1] competition altercation, argument, battle, beef*, belligerency, bone of contention*, bone to pick*, combat, conflict, contest, controversy, difference, disaccord, discord, dispute, dissension, dissent, dissidence, disunity, enmity, feuding,… …   New thesaurus

  • contention — ► NOUN 1) heated disagreement. 2) an assertion. ● in contention Cf. ↑in contention ORIGIN Latin, from contendere contend …   English terms dictionary

  • contention — late 14c., strife, from O.Fr. contention, from L. contentionem (nom. contentio), from content , pp. stem of contendere (see CONTEND (Cf. contend)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • contention — I (argument) noun allegation, area of disagreement, argumentation, cause, conflict, contest, controversy, debate, discord, disputatio, disputation, dispute, disputed point, ground, issue, legal dispute, legal issue, plea, point, polemic,… …   Law dictionary

  • contention — dissension, difference, variance, strife, *discord, conflict Analogous words: *quarrel, wrangle, altercation, squabble: controversy, dispute, *argument: contending, fighting, warring (see CONTEND) Contrasted words: agreement, concurrence,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • contention — Contention, Contentieux, voyez Contendre …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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