Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (kŏn′trə-vûr′shəl, -sē-əl)
1. Of, producing, or marked by controversy: a controversial movie; a controversial stand on human rights.
2. Fond of controversy; disputatious.

con′tro·ver′sial·ist n.
con′tro·ver′si·al′i·ty (-shē-ăl′ĭ-tē, -sē-) n.
con′tro·ver′sial·ly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.controversialist - a person who disputes; who is good at or enjoys controversy
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
contester - someone who contests an outcome (of a race or an election etc.)
accuser - someone who imputes guilt or blame
arguer, debater - someone who engages in debate
denier - one who denies
hairsplitter - a disputant who makes unreasonably fine distinctions
logomach, logomachist - someone given to disputes over words
obstructer, obstructionist, obstructor, resister, thwarter - someone who systematically obstructs some action that others want to take
quarreler, quarreller - a disputant who quarrels
crusader, meliorist, reformer, reformist, social reformer - a disputant who advocates reform
References in classic literature ?
In 1526 William Tyndale, a zealous Protestant controversialist then in exile in Germany, published an excellent English translation of the New Testament.
The vicar of their pleasant rural parish was not a controversialist, but a good hand at whist, and one who had a joke always ready for a blooming female parishioner.
They are like two controversialists hurling words at one another.
Chesterton set the whole world laughing with a series of alleged non-partisan essays on the subject, and the whole affair, controversy and controversialists, was well-nigh swept into the pit by a thundering broadside from George Bernard Shaw.
controversialists who are more concerned to deprive the world of
While Meyer was prepared to deal with Keswick's doctrinal position on controversial points, he was not primarily a controversialist.
Again, given Hook's career as a controversialist, it is fair to stretch his words just a bit here and see that, for him, polemic is a kind of scientific instrument and public debate a proving ground of political policy.
6) Lord Acton described Bellarmine as "the most famous controversialist of the sixteenth century" and "one of the masters of revolutionary Catholicism, and a forerunner of Algernon Sidney.
But Mr Farage's speech was in danger of being overshadowed by professional controversialist Katie Hopkins's claim that the photo of three year-old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned with his mother and brother trying to cross from Turkey to Greece by boat, had been "staged".
The Rheims translation drew an elaborate and fascinating response from the Protestant controversialist William Fulke, who in 1589 published an edition of the Bishops' and Rheims versions in parallel columns with commentary.
It won't be disputed, I think, that Curnow is not just the premier poet, but the best critic, the most effective controversialist, and indeed the most acute intellect.
It is not the essay of a controversialist, nor is it offered from a confessional standpoint.