Meaning of “controversial” in the English Dictionary

"controversial" in British English

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controversialadjective

uk /ˌkɒn.trəˈvɜː.ʃəl/ us /ˌkɑːn.trəˈvɝː.ʃəl/

B2 causing disagreement or discussion:

a controversial issue/decision/speech/figure
The book was very controversial.

More examples

  • They hold widely divergent opinions on controversial issues like abortion.
  • Eugenics was the central, and most controversial, part of his social philosophy.
  • The official censors have excised the controversial sections of the report.
  • Her controversial speech was punctuated with noisy interjections from the audience.
  • She's been in the limelight recently, following the release of her controversial new film.
controversially
adverb uk /ˌkɒn.trəˈvɜː.ʃəl.i/ us /ˌkɑːn.trəˈvɝː.ʃəl.i/

(Definition of “controversial” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"controversial" in American English

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controversialadjective

us /ˌkɑn·trəˈvɜr·ʃəl, -ˈvɜr·si·əl/

causing or likely to cause disagreement:

a controversial theory/movie
controversially
adverb /ˌkɑn·trəˈvɜr·ʃə·li, -ˈvɜr·si·ə·li/

They are also very controversially talking about taxing Social Security benefits more than they are now.

(Definition of “controversial” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)