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Contious vs. Contentious — Which is Correct Spelling?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 1, 2024
"Contious" is incorrect. The correct spelling is "contentious," meaning causing or likely to provoke controversy or dispute.
Contious vs. Contentious — Which is Correct Spelling?

Which is correct: Contious or Contentious

How to spell Contentious?


Incorrect Spelling


Correct Spelling

Key Differences

Associate "contentious" with "tension" for the “ten” part.
Remember "contention" as a base word for "contentious."
"Contentious" contains "tious" not "tous."
"Contentious" sounds like "contend-tious."
Think of "contest" where there is contention.

How Do You Spell Contentious Correctly?

Incorrect: The discussion turned contious when they touched on politics.
Correct: The discussion turned contentious when they touched on politics.
Incorrect: He is known for his contious behavior in meetings.
Correct: He is known for his contentious behavior in meetings.
Incorrect: The debate became very contious over the issue of climate change.
Correct: The debate became very contentious over the issue of climate change.
Incorrect: Their relationship became contious after the disagreement.
Correct: Their relationship became contentious after the disagreement.
Incorrect: She tends to avoid contious topics in conversation.
Correct: She tends to avoid contentious topics in conversation.

Contentious Definitions

Provoking heated disagreements.
The meeting became contentious after the proposal.
Causing or likely to provoke dispute.
The politician's speech was highly contentious.
Controversial or argumentative in nature.
The topic was contentious among the group.
Being the subject of debate.
Climate change remains a contentious issue.
Given to contention; quarrelsome.
Involving or causing contention; controversial
"a central and contentious element of the book" (Tim W. Ferguson).
Marked by heated arguments or controversy.
Given to struggling with others out of jealousy or discord.
Fond of contention; given to angry debate; provoking dispute or contention; quarrelsome.
Despotic and contentious temper.
Relating to contention or strife; involving or characterized by contention.
More cheerful, though not less contentious, regions.
Contested; litigated; litigious; having power to decide controversy.
Inclined or showing an inclination to dispute or disagree, even to engage in law suits;
A style described as abrasive and contentious
A disputatious lawyer
A litigious and acrimonious spirit
Involving or likely to cause controversy;
A central and contentious element of the book
Having or showing a ready disposition to fight;
Bellicose young officers
A combative impulse
A contentious nature
Inclined to cause arguments or strife.
He had a contentious personality.

Contentious Meaning in a Sentence

The reform has been a contentious point among lawmakers.
Contentious discussions can strain personal and professional relationships.
Avoiding contentious subjects at dinner parties is usually wise.
Contentious issues often lead to heated debates.
He has a reputation for being contentious in negotiations.
Contentious debates often require a moderator to maintain order.
The boundary dispute between the two countries remains a contentious issue.
Contentious legal battles can drain both resources and morale.
Public figures often find themselves embroiled in contentious discussions.
Her contentious approach sometimes alienates her colleagues.
The merger has proved contentious, with stakeholders on both sides raising concerns.
The topic of gun control is highly contentious in political discourse.
It's important to handle contentious topics with sensitivity and respect.
The book’s portrayal of historical events has been contentious among scholars.
The new policy is one of the most contentious the company has ever introduced.
Technology and privacy is a rapidly growing contentious topic.
Contentious debates over educational curricula are not uncommon.
Contentious personalities may thrive in competitive environments but struggle in collaborative ones.
Urban development is becoming increasingly contentious as cities grow.
International trade agreements often lead to contentious negotiations.
Contentious elections can lead to widespread social division.
Environmental protection is a contentious issue, with varying opinions on best practices.
Social media platforms can amplify contentious topics, leading to polarized communities.
Financial decisions can become contentious within families.
Managing contentious feedback is a skill essential for leaders and managers.

Common Curiosities

What is the root word of contentious?

The root is "contention."

What is the verb form of contentious?


Which vowel is used before contentious?

The vowel "a" can be used, as in "a contentious."

Which conjunction is used with contentious?

"And" can be used.

Why is it called contentious?

Derived from Latin "contentiosus," it refers to being prone to contention or dispute.

Is contentious a noun or adjective?

It's an adjective.

Is contentious an abstract noun?

No, but "contention" is.

Is contentious a negative or positive word?

Typically negative.

What is the pronunciation of contentious?


What is the plural form of contentious?

Adjectives like "contentious" don't have plural forms.

What is the first form of contentious?

Not applicable since "contentious" is an adjective.

What is the third form of contentious?

Not applicable.

What is the singular form of contentious?

Contentious (it's an adjective, so it doesn't have a plural form).

Which preposition is used with contentious?

"About" is common, e.g., "contentious about the topic."

Is the contentious term a metaphor?

No, but can be used metaphorically.

Is the word contentious imperative?


How many syllables are in contentious?

3 syllables.

Is contentious a vowel or consonant?

"Contentious" is a word made up of both.

What is the second form of contentious?

Not applicable.

What is a stressed syllable in contentious?

The second syllable, "ten."

What part of speech is contentious?


Which article is used with contentious?

"A" can be used, as in "a contentious debate."

Is contentious an adverb?


Is contentious a countable noun?

No, it's an adjective.

Is contentious a collective noun?


How do we divide contentious into syllables?


What is another term for contentious?


What is the opposite of contentious?


Which determiner is used with contentious?

"This" can be used, like "this contentious matter."

How is contentious used in a sentence?

The debate became more heated due to the contentious remarks from both sides.

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Diversed vs. Diverse

Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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