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
   1. Contention; dispute; debate; discussion; agitation of
      contrary opinions.
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            This left no room for controversy about the title.
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            A dispute is commonly oral, and a controversy in
            writing.                              --Johnson.
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   2. Quarrel; strife; cause of variance; difference.
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            The Lord hath a controversy with the nations. --Jer.
                                                  xxv. 31.
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   3. A suit in law or equity; a question of right. [Obs.]
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            When any man that had a controversy came to the king
            for judgment.                         --2 Sam. xv.

   Syn: Dispute; debate; disputation; disagreement; altercation;
        contention; wrangle; strife; quarrel.
        [1913 Webster]
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