Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

controversial - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective controversial pronunciation in British English /ˌkɒntrəˈvɜː(r)ʃ(ə)l/
  1. a controversial subject, opinion, or decision is one that people disagree about or do not approve of

    controversial plans to build a new motorway

    a controversial issue/topic/proposal/decision:

    We tried to stay away from controversial topics at the dinner party.

    1. a.
      sometimes used about a person, especially a person in public life

      The president’s wife was a powerful and controversial figure.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play