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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Contentious \Con*ten"tious\, a. [L. contentiosus: cf. F. contentieux.] 1. Fond of contention; given to angry debate; provoking dispute or contention; quarrelsome. [1913 Webster] Despotic and contentious temper. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 2. Relating to contention or strife; involving or characterized by contention. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] More cheerful, though not less contentious, regions. --Brougham. [1913 Webster] 3. (Law) Contested; litigated; litigious; having power to decide controversy. [1913 Webster] Contentious jurisdiction (Eng. Eccl. Law), jurisdiction over matters in controversy between parties, in contradistinction to voluntary jurisdiction, or that exercised upon matters not opposed or controverted. Syn: Quarrelsome; pugnacious; dissentious; wrangling; litigious; perverse; peevish. -- Con*ten"tious*ly, adv. -- Con*ten"tious*ness, n. [1913 Webster]