Con*ten"tion (?), n. [F. contention, L. contentio. See Contend.]
A violent effort or struggle to obtain, or to resist, something; contest; strife.
I would my ars could match thee in contenion.
Strife in words; controversy; altercation quarrel; dispute; as, a bone of contention.
Contentions and strivings about the law.
Titus iii. 9.
Vehemence of endeavor; eagerness; ardor; zeal.
An end . . . worthy our utmost contenion to obtain.
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.
All men seem agreed what is to be done; the contention is how the subject is to be divided and defined.
This was my original contention, and I still maintain that you should abide by your former decision.
Syn. -- Struggle; strife; contest; quarrel; combat; conflict; feud; litigation; controversy; dissension; variance; disagreement; debate; competition; emulation. -- Contention, Strife. A struggle between two parties is the idea common to these two words. Strife is a struggle for mastery; contention is a struggle for the possession of some desired object, or the accomplishment of some favorite end. Neither of the words is necessairly used in a bad sense, since there may be a generous strife or contention between two friends as to which shall incur danger or submit to sacrifices. Ordinarily, however, these words denote a struggle arising from bad passions. In that case, strife usually springs from a quarrelsome temper, and contention from, a selfish spirit which seeks its own aggrandizement, or is fearful lest others should obtain too such. Strife has more reference to the manner than to the object of a struggle, while contention takes more account of the end to be gained.
© Webster 1913.