bone of contention


noun

  1. a subject, cause, or focal point of a dispute: The terms of the old man’s will were a bone of contention to his survivors.

noun

  1. the grounds or subject of a dispute

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.

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