I'm writing a speech on sexism, as it is a topic which quite often gives rise to disputes and heated discussions; is there an adjective to describe such a topic which does so?

  • Impassioned.......? – WS2 Oct 2 '14 at 17:37
  • Informally, you might call that a hot button issue. – Gob Ties Oct 2 '14 at 19:43
  • Or just a hot potato. But admittedly, I've never seen this compound used attributively. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 3 '14 at 0:11

You could use controversial.

Per Merriam-Webster:

controversial adjective

: relating to or causing much discussion, disagreement, or argument : likely to produce controversy

Examples of Controversial

  • Abortion is a highly controversial subject.
  • a decision that remains controversial
  • He is a controversial author.

Some other alternatives would be:

  • contentious
  • disputed/disputable
  • polemical
  • Going with 'polemical.' The most appropriate for my purposes in terms of definition, and it fits in phonetically with the rest of my text. – user1997744 Oct 2 '14 at 16:44

Controversial:can convey the idea of an issue or argument, especially one concerning a matter about which there is strong disagreement and especially one carried on in public or in the press.

  • Of, producing, or marked by controversy: a controversial movie; a controversial stand on human rights.



Contentious is probably what you're looking for:

con·ten·tious adjective \kən-ˈten(t)-shəs\
: likely to cause people to argue or disagree
: involving a lot of arguing
: likely or willing to argue




(from GoogleSearch who appears to use the Oxford US English dictionary)



adjective adjective: incendiary

  1. tending to stir up conflict. "incendiary rhetoric" synonyms: inflammatory, rabble-rousing, provocative, seditious, subversive
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