bone of contention

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Related to dissension: predecessor, incidental, meticulous

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.

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.

bone of contention, the

The central point of a dispute. The phrase alludes to two dogs fighting over a single bone, and originally was a bone of dissension (“This became a bone of dissension between these deere friends,” William Lambarde, 1576). The current cliché dates from the early eighteenth century, although the metaphor of dogs fighting over a bone had been transferred to human quarrels long before (“The devil hath cast a bone to set stryfe between you,” John Heywood’s Proverbs, 1562).
See also: bone, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
But the media and news agencies can only believe such "big lies" because they have no one to talk to except those advocates of dissension and perpetrators of sabotage, Dr Al Mahmood said.
"And we have affirmed to them that this will be an issue of dissension between us," he added.
Officials from anti-Syrian March 14 coalition criticized Franjieh and Aoun for their dissension. Franjieh said that the Christians who went to the Maronite church in Aleppo "did not show the Lebanese Maronites were divided but rather the Maronite church encompasses the Maronite church in Aleppo as well," AN NAHAR quoted Franjieh as saying
It examines the presidency of George Washington, focusing on the dissension between Washington and Jefferson regarding the extremist tactics of the French Revolution.
Lyons, recognized Sisulu's courage and dedication in providing South African blacks with an alternative voice in the face of efforts by the government to quell dissension.
Abul Gheit Says Cairo Not Surprised by Dissension of Lebanon's Jumblat
"Everyone Agrees: Words, Ideas, and a Universal Morality" tries to delve into the philosophy and psychology of dissension. Believing in a universal morality and that most people disagree simply for the very sake of disagreeing, and for an 'us-against-them' mind set, author J.S.B.
Tamim reportedly said that the video-sharing website contained material that "sparked dissension," especially regarding religious belief.
When asked whether there was any dissension in the ranks, Wilkins sternly replied: "none whatsoever.
The nine chapters look at general history up to 1860, the secession crisis, the establishment of the C.S.A., the war from 1867-2, the daily life of Confederate soldiers, the role of Confederate women, the lives of Southern negroes, dissension and 'internal collapse'; on the home front, the war from 1863-65, a look at why the Confederacy 'failed', reconstruction and, finally, remembering the Lost Cause.
Originally from Tregarth, near Bethesda, Mrs Fazey-Koven was appointed in April 2005 as the society reeled from internal dissension.
Whatever it is that happens here, the artist has caught it perfectly, the pleader and the men ranged round about him in one quick rhythm of dissension or accord.
"We're not trying to suppress dissension or criticism," Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn told the Albuquerque Journal.
Dissension over the matter resulted in the mass resignation of five members of the previous commission to protest the Board of Selectmen overruling their decision to close an access road near the fields.
Unique, as well, are Phillips' personal accounts of dissension within the administration.