The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Contentious \Con*ten"tious\, a. [L. contentiosus: cf. F.
1. Fond of contention; given to angry debate; provoking
dispute or contention; quarrelsome.
Despotic and contentious temper. --Macaulay.
2. Relating to contention or strife; involving or
characterized by contention. --Spenser.
More cheerful, though not less contentious, regions.
3. (Law) Contested; litigated; litigious; having power to
Contentious jurisdiction (Eng. Eccl. Law), jurisdiction
over matters in controversy between parties, in
contradistinction to voluntary jurisdiction, or that
exercised upon matters not opposed or controverted.
Syn: Quarrelsome; pugnacious; dissentious; wrangling;
litigious; perverse; peevish. -- Con*ten"tious*ly,
adv. -- Con*ten"tious*ness, n.