verb (used without object), dis·put·ed, dis·put·ing.

to engage in argument or debate.
to argue vehemently; wrangle or quarrel.

verb (used with object), dis·put·ed, dis·put·ing.


a debate, controversy, or difference of opinion.
a wrangling argument; quarrel.

Origin of dispute

1275–1325; Middle English (< Anglo-French, Old French desputer) < Latin disputāre to argue a point, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + putāre to reckon, consider; see putative
Related formsdis·pute·less, adjectivedis·put·er, nounpre·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·ed, adjectiveun·dis·put·ed·ly, adverbun·dis·put·ing, adjectivewell-dis·put·ed, adjective
Can be confuseddispute refute

Synonyms for dispute

Synonym study

8. See argument.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disputing

Contemporary Examples of disputing

Historical Examples of disputing

  • How could two men, who shared everything else, always be disputing about politics?


    Emile Zola

  • But the old lady discouraged the project with an authority there was no disputing.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • In a word, is not the art of disputation a power of disputing about all things?



  • How, while mankind were disputing about universals, could they classify phenomena?

  • I saw at once that they were talking about a lottery, but why were they disputing?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for disputing


verb (dɪˈspjuːt)

to argue, debate, or quarrel about (something)
(tr; may take a clause as object) to doubt the validity, etc, of
(tr) to seek to win; contest for
(tr) to struggle against; resist

noun (dɪˈspjuːt, ˈdɪspjuːt)

an argument or quarrel
Derived Formsdisputer, noun

Word Origin for dispute

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

Word Origin and History for disputing



c.1300, from Old French desputer (12c.) "dispute, fight over, contend for, discuss," from Latin disputare "weigh, examine, discuss, argue, explain," from dis- "separately" (see dis-) + putare "to count, consider," originally "to prune" (see pave).

Used in Vulgate in sense of "to argue, contend with words." Related: Disputable; disputed; disputing. The noun is not certainly recorded before 1590s (disputacioun in that sense is from late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with disputing


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.