Meaning of “controversy” in the English Dictionary

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"controversy" in British English

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controversynoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈkɒn.trə.vɜː.si/ /kənˈtrɒv.ə.si/ us /ˈkɑːn.trə.vɝː.si/

C1 a lot of disagreement or argument about something, usually because it affects or is important to many people:

There was a big controversy surrounding/over the use of drugs in athletics.
The policy has caused fierce/heated controversy ever since it was introduced.

More examples

  • Where do you put the emphasis in the word 'controversy'?
  • Her latest book has engendered a lot of controversy.
  • The mayor and the city council are anxious to avoid getting entangled in the controversy.
  • Reports in today's newspapers have added fuel to the controversy .
  • Overhanging the controversy is the question of how much the government knew about the arms deal.
  • The government proposal to test 14-year-olds has been causing controversy in the staffroom .

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

"controversy" in American English

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controversynoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈkɑn·trəˌvɜr·si/

a disagreement, often a public one, that involves different ideas or opinions about something:

[ C ] Publication of the article unleashed a scientific controversy that raged for years.
[ U ] The president’s decisions stirred up a lot controversy.

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

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