Contention is struggle or strife over a possession or a point of argument.
- Did thrust (as now) in others' corn his sickle.
- Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weekes and Workes, Second Week (1584), Second Day, Part II.
- He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
- Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Volume III, p. 195.
- 'Tis a hydra's head contention; the more they strive the more they may: and as Praxiteles did by his glass, when he saw a scurvy face in it, brake it in pieces; but for that one he saw many more as bad in a moment.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part II, scene 3. Mem. 7.
- Great contest follows, and much learned dust
Involves the combatants; each claiming truth,
And truth disclaiming both.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book III, line 161.
- So when two dogs are fighting in the streets,
When a third dog one of the two dogs meets:
With angry teeth he bites him to the bone,
And this dog smarts for what that dog has done.
- Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb the Great (1730), Act I, scene 5, line 55.
- When individuals approach one another with deep purposes on both sides they seldom come at once to the matter which they have most at heart. They dread the electric shock of a too sudden contact with it.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun (1860), Volume II, Chapter XXII.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations 
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 136-37.
- Et le combat cessa, faute de combattants.
- And the combat ceased, for want of combatants.
- Pierre Corneille, Le Cid, IV. 3.
- Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between thee and me.
- Genesis, XIII. 8.
- Not hate, but glory, made these chiefs contend;
And each brave foe was in his soul a friend.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book VII, line 364. Pope's translation.
- But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast,
For gentle ways are best, and keep aloof
From sharp contentions.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book LX, line 317. Bryant's translation.
- A man of strife and a man of contention.
- Jeremiah, XV. 10.
- Mansit concordia discors.
- Agreement exists in disagreement.
- Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, I. 98.
- Ducibus tantum de funere pugna est.
- The chiefs contend only for their place of burial.
- Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, VI. 811.
- If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
- Mark, III. 25.
- Irritabis crabrones.
- You will stir up the hornets.
- Plautus, Amphitruo, Act II. 2. 75.
- A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
- Proverbs, XXVII. 15.
- Irriter les freslons.
- Stir up the hornets.
- François Rabelais, Pantagruel.
- Contentions fierce,
Ardent, and dire, spring from no petty cause.
- Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak, Chapter XL.
- Tota hujus mundi concordia ex discordibus constat.
- The whole concord of this world consists in discords.
- Seneca, Nat. Quæst, Book VII. 27.
- Thus when a barber and collier fight,
The barber beats the luckless collier—white;
The dusty collier heaves his ponderous sack,
And, big with vengeance, beats the barber—black.
In comes the brick-dust man. with grime o'erspread,
And beats the collier and the barber—red;
Black, red, and white, in various clouds are toss'd,
And in the dust they raise the combatants are lost.
- Christopher Smart, Soliloquy of the Princess Periwinkle in A Trip to Cambridge. See Campbell's Specimens of the British Poets, Volume VI, p. 185.
- Nimium altercando veritas amittitur.
- In excessive altercation, truth is lost.
- Syrus, Maxims.