Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or an instance of striving in controversy or debate. See Synonyms at discord.
  • n. A striving to win in competition; rivalry: The teams met in fierce contention for first place.
  • n. An assertion put forward in argument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. struggle, contest, strife, argument, debate
  • n. A point maintained in an argument, or a line of argument taken in its support; the subject matter of discussion of strife; a position taken or contended for.
  • n. Competition by parts of a system or its users for a limited resource.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A violent effort or struggle to obtain, or to resist, something; contest; strife.
  • n. Strife in words; controversy; altercation; quarrel; dispute.
  • n. Vehemence of endeavor; eagerness; ardor; zeal.
  • n. A point maintained in an argument, or a line of argument taken in its support; the subject matter of discussion or strife; a position taken or contended for.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A violent effort to obtain something, or to resist physical force, whether an assault or bodily opposition; physical contest; struggle; strife.
  • n. Strife in words or debate; wrangling; angry contest; quarrel; controversy; litigation.
  • n. Strife or endeavor to excel; competition; emulation.
  • n. Effort; struggle; vehement endeavor.
  • n. That which is affirmed or contended for; an argument or a statement in support of a point or proposition; a main point in controversy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a point asserted as part of an argument
  • n. a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement
  • n. the act of competing as for profit or a prize

Etymologies

Middle English contencioun, from Old French contention, from Latin contentiō, contentiōn-, from contentus, past participle of contendere, to contend; see contend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English contencion, from Old French contencion, from Latin contentio, from contendere, past participle contentus ("to contend"); see contend. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Main contention is that ‘Art’: its creation and appreciation, are innate; that these activities are universally human, that they developed as part of a survival mechanism.

    Storytelling as low risk experience…key to Survival

  • Parker's main contention is that guest workers and illegal immigrants constitute distinct market segments, rather than close substitutes.

    Immigrant Labor Market Issues, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • It's not yet clear what the site will be called, but one name in contention is Shine.

    Internet News: Yahoo Wants Women to Shine

  • From Quirin: "Petitioners 'main contention is that the President is without any statutory or constitutional authority to order the petitioners to be tried by military tribunal for offenses with which they are charged; that in consequence they are entitled to be tried in the civil courts with the safeguards, including trial by jury, which the Fifth and Sixth Amendments guarantee to all persons charged in such courts with criminal offenses."

    Balkinization

  • Just below him in the title contention hierarchy is another fighter who recently earned a significant victory over a top-ranked heavyweight: Cain Velasquez.

    MMA Mania

  • This could be a hell of a lot of fun and the winner moves to the front of the title contention line.

    BoxingScene.com

  • Now that the Hokies have responded by playing the type of football they hoped would keep them in the title contention, they still have slim - maybe the slimmest possible - hopes of squeezing into the Bowl Championship Series.

    newsleader.com -

  • Sebastian Vettel roars back into the title contention by winning the Japanese GP.

    News24 Top Stories

  • He got into serious title contention with four birdies over his first six holes, getting to

    theithacajournal.com -

  • I felt like I was on the bandwagon, blog and all, before the rest of the basketball world had embraced a squad that was years away from serious title contention, but one that would absolutely get there.

    Empty the Bench

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