[ dih-spyoot ]
See synonyms for: disputedisputeddisputingdisputer on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object),dis·put·ed, dis·put·ing.
  1. to engage in argument or debate: She liked nothing more than to dispute with her fellow law students.

  2. to argue vehemently; wrangle or quarrel: Those two are always disputing about something or other.

verb (used with object),dis·put·ed, dis·put·ing.
  1. to argue or debate about; discuss: Whether excessive time spent on the internet can be called an addiction is hotly disputed.

  2. to argue against; call into question: Historians dispute this claim, suggesting Raleigh could not possibly have discovered the potato in the places he visited.

  1. to quarrel or fight about; contest: We stopped to watch a puffed-up crow disputing territory with a cat.

  2. Archaic. to strive against; oppose: to dispute an advance of troops.

  1. a debate, controversy, or difference of opinion: Players were elated when the equal pay dispute was finally resolved.

  2. a wrangling argument; quarrel: Some women at the end of the bar were having a noisy dispute about who should be the designated driver.

Idioms about dispute

  1. in dispute,

    • being fought or argued over; debated or contested; unresolved: The authorship of the recently discovered text is in dispute.Both countries argue that the territories in dispute originally belonged to them.

    • engaged in an argument or disagreement: The program enables parties in dispute to settle their differences over the internet without face-to-face mediation.

Origin of dispute

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English verb disputen, dispuiten, desputen, either from Anglo-French, Old French desputer or directly from Latin disputāre “to argue a point,” equivalent to dis- dis-1 + putāre “to reckon, consider”; noun derivative of the verb; see putative

synonym study For dispute

8. See argument.

Other words for dispute

Other words from dispute

  • dis·pute·less, adjective
  • dis·put·er, noun
  • pre·dis·pute, noun, verb, pre·dis·put·ed, pre·dis·put·ing.
  • re·dis·pute, verb, re·dis·put·ed, re·dis·put·ing.
  • un·dis·put·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with dispute

Words Nearby dispute

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dispute in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dispute


  1. to argue, debate, or quarrel about (something)

  2. (tr; may take a clause as object) to doubt the validity, etc, of

  1. (tr) to seek to win; contest for

  2. (tr) to struggle against; resist

noun(dɪˈspjuːt, ˈdɪspjuːt)
  1. an argument or quarrel

Origin of dispute

C13: from Late Latin disputāre to contend verbally, from Latin: to discuss, from dis- 1 + putāre to think

Derived forms of dispute

  • disputer, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with dispute


see in dispute.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.