controversial

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin controversia (controversy) + -al; see controversy.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌkɒn.trəˈvɜː.ʃəl/, /ˌkɒn.tɹəˈvɜː.sjəl/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˌkɑn.tɹəˈvɝ.ʃəl/, /ˌkɑn.tɹəˈvɝː.sjəl/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: con‧tro‧ver‧sial

Adjective[edit]

controversial (comparative more controversial, superlative most controversial)

  1. Arousing controversy—a debate or discussion of opposing opinions.
    • Whole libraries of controversial books.
    • 2021 September 16, Maher, Bill, Bill Maher on Getting Anger from Both Sides, Our Divided Country & Norm Macdonald’s Passing[1], Jimmy Kimmel Live!, 7:52 from the start:
      MAHER: Well, whatever. I just said we shouldn't have two national anthems. We're one country. It's not a good idea. We've seen what happens in other countries where you have, you know- when you separate things out. That's never where America was. That's never where liberalism was. It was about being a colorblind society. So, a new national anthem? Fine. I'll go for that. But not two. Because that leads down a road we don't wanna go. Applause.
      KIMMEL: Do you feel like...
      MAHER: Thank you.
      KIMMEL: Hey there's a lot of fear in the air and generally, you don't want to be caught applauding something that might be controversial.
      MAHER: I couldn't give a fuck.
      KIMMEL: I wasn't talking about you.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns often used with "controversial": topic, subject, work, author, method, etc.

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Spanish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

controversial (plural controversiales)

  1. (Latin America) controversial
    Synonym: controvertido
    • 2015 December, “Estamos en el comienzo de un reexamen del capitalismo”, in El Pais (Uruguay)[2]:
      Esto comienza con los acuerdos de (protección de) inversión que han sido controversiales por cerca de veinte años.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

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