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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Controversy \Con"tro*ver`sy\, n.; pl. Controversies. [L. controversia, fr. controversus turned against, disputed; contro- = contra + versus, p. p. of vertere to turn. See Verse.] 1. Contention; dispute; debate; discussion; agitation of contrary opinions. [1913 Webster] This left no room for controversy about the title. --Locke. [1913 Webster] A dispute is commonly oral, and a controversy in writing. --Johnson. [1913 Webster] 2. Quarrel; strife; cause of variance; difference. [1913 Webster] The Lord hath a controversy with the nations. --Jer. xxv. 31. [1913 Webster] 3. A suit in law or equity; a question of right. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] When any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment. --2 Sam. xv. 2. Syn: Dispute; debate; disputation; disagreement; altercation; contention; wrangle; strife; quarrel. [1913 Webster]