Etymology
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controversial (adj.)

1610s, "subject to controversy;" 1640s, "turning different ways," from Latin controversus "turned against" (see controversy) + -al (1).

controversial (adj.)

1580s, "debatable, disputed," from Late Latin controversialis "pertaining to controversy," from Latin controversia (see controversy). From 1650s as "of or pertaining to controversy."

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Definitions of controversial

controversial (adj.)
marked by or capable of arousing controversy;
the issue of the death penalty is highly controversial
a controversial decision on affirmative action
Rushdie's controversial book
From wordnet.princeton.edu