Learn English – Word for a person who likes to argue


I recently read somewhere a single word that described a person who enjoyed an argument – in the sense of a lively debate. It may have been a word implying a positive or neutral context but I don't think it was negative or derogatory.

A complex word (uncommon in colloquial use), medium length (7-8 letters), possibly ending in -ic. One or more of these points may be a false memory.

Any ideas?

Best Answer

Polemic (polemicist) or Controversialist.

polemic (noun): A person who argues or writes in opposition to another, or who takes up a controversial position; a controversialist. Cf. polemicist n. [OED]

polemicist (noun): An author of polemics; a controversialist. [OED]

controversialist (noun): a person who likes to disagree with other people and say things that make people angry or think about a subject [Cambridge]

You can consider argumentative or contentious as an adjective.