top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce controversy (audio)

Dictionary definition of controversy

A state or condition of disagreement, debate, or conflict arising from differing opinions, beliefs, or perspectives on a particular matter.
"The politician's remarks sparked a heated controversy among voters."

Detailed meaning of controversy

It encompasses a situation in which individuals or groups hold contrasting views, leading to a clash of ideas, arguments, or positions. Controversy often arises when there are conflicting interpretations, interests, values, or principles at stake. It can be found in various domains, including politics, social issues, science, art, and religion. Controversies can spark intense emotions, generate public discourse, and attract significant attention and scrutiny. They highlight areas of disagreement and challenge societal norms, conventions, or established narratives. Controversies can be constructive, providing an opportunity for critical examination, open dialogue, and the exploration of diverse perspectives. They can also be divisive, resulting in tension, polarization, and the deepening of rifts between individuals or groups. Ultimately, controversies represent the complexities and diversity of human thought, inviting critical thinking, analysis, and reflection on matters of contention.

Example sentences containing controversy

1. The controversial artwork generated a lot of debate and controversy in the art community.
2. The company's decision to lay off employees caused a major controversy in the media.
3. The scientific study ignited a controversy within the scientific community regarding its methodology.
4. The controversial film faced criticism and controversy for its portrayal of sensitive subjects.
5. The new policy announcement led to a wave of controversy and public outcry.
6. The controversial book stirred up controversy due to its provocative content.

History and etymology of controversy

The noun 'controversy' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'controversia,' which is formed from 'contra' meaning 'against' and 'versus' meaning 'turn' or 'to turn.' This etymology effectively conveys the essence of 'controversy' as a figurative turning against or facing off against one another, often in the context of disagreement, debate, or conflict arising from differing opinions, beliefs, or perspectives on a particular matter. It implies a clash of viewpoints or ideas, where opposing sides confront each other in a debate or dispute. The term 'controversy' maintains its etymological connection to the concept of turning against, emphasizing the contentious nature of issues that provoke disagreement or conflict among individuals or groups with contrasting viewpoints.

Quiz: Find the meaning of controversy

Try Again!


Further usage examples of controversy

1. The athlete's doping scandal brought a great deal of controversy to the sports world.
2. The controversial legislation prompted protests and widespread controversy.
3. The appointment of the controversial figure to a leadership position triggered a storm of controversy.
4. The controversial opinion piece in the newspaper sparked a lively controversy among readers.
5. The celebrity's controversial social media post ignited a firestorm of controversy and backlash.
6. The controversy over the new policy divided the community.
7. Their debate added fuel to the ongoing controversy.
8. The political controversy dominated the headlines.
9. The controversy surrounding the election outcome persisted.
10. The controversy sparked passionate discussions online.
11. Controversy often arises when values clash.
12. The controversy had far-reaching implications.
13. The controversy raised questions about ethics.
14. The controversy led to a heated exchange of opinions.
15. The film's release was marred by controversy.
16. The controversy highlighted societal divisions.
17. Controversy can sometimes be a catalyst for change.
18. The controversy simmered for months before resolution.
19. The controversy left no one indifferent.
20. Journalists covered the controversy extensively.
21. The controversy exposed deep-seated prejudices.
22. Public figures often find themselves in controversy.
23. The controversy revealed underlying tensions.
24. Addressing the controversy required careful diplomacy.


dispute, agreement, consensus, harmony


ACT 6 (American College Testing), High School 1, Discussion and Argumentation

bottom of page