a bone of contention

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a bone of contention

An unresolved problem, dispute, or disagreement. Jerry leaving his dirty dishes in the sink for days became a bone of contention between him and his roommate.
See also: bone, contention, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bone of contention

Fig. the subject or point of an argument; an unsettled point of disagreement. We've fought for so long that we've forgotten what the bone of contention is. The question of a fence between the houses has become quite a bone of contention.
See also: bone, contention, of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bone of contention

Main issue of a disagreement; something to quarrel about. For example, Grandfather's will was a bone of contention for the whole family. This expression alludes to two dogs fighting (contending) over a single bone. In slightly different guise, bone of dissension, it was used figuratively in the 16th century and took its present form in the early 1700s.
See also: bone, contention, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a bone of contention

COMMON A bone of contention is an issue that people are arguing about. Both players were lectured severely by the referee, but the real bone of contention was the injury to Montgomery. Pay, of course, is not the only bone of contention. Note: The image here is of two dogs fighting over a bone.
See also: bone, contention, of
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a bone of contention

a subject or issue over which there is continuing disagreement.
The idea is of a bone thrown into the midst of a number of dogs and causing a fight between them.
See also: bone, contention, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a bone of conˈtention

a matter about which there is a lot of disagreement: The interpretation of this painting has long been a bone of contention among art historians.
See also: bone, contention, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bone of contention

The subject of a dispute.
See also: bone, contention, of
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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