(?), a. [L. contentiosus: cf. F. contentieux.] 1. Fond of contention; given to angry debate; provoking dispute or contention; quarrelsome.
[1913 Webster]

Despotic and contentious temper.
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2. Relating to contention or strife; involving or characterized by contention. Spenser.
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More cheerful, though not less contentious, regions.
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3. (Law) Contested; litigated; litigious; having power to decide controversy.
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Contentious jurisdiction (Eng. Eccl. Law), jurisdiction over matters in controversy between parties, in contradistinction to voluntary jurisdiction, or that exercised upon matters not opposed or controverted.

Syn. -- Quarrelsome; pugnacious; dissentious; wrangling; litigious; perverse; peevish.

-- Con*ten"tious*ly, adv. -- Con*ten"tious*ness, n.
[1913 Webster]


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