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verb (used without object)
  1. to differ in sentiment or opinion, especially from the majority; withhold assent; disagree (often followed by from): Two of the justices dissented from the majority decision.
  2. to disagree with the methods, goals, etc., of a political party or government; take an opposing view.
  3. to disagree with or reject the doctrines or authority of an established church.
  1. difference of sentiment or opinion.
  2. dissenting opinion.
  3. disagreement with the philosophy, methods, goals, etc., of a political party or government.
  4. separation from an established church, especially the Church of England; nonconformity.

Origin of dissent

1400–50; late Middle English dissenten (< Middle French dissentir) < Latin dissentīre, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + sentīre to feel
Related formsdis·sent·ing·ly, adverbnon·dis·sent·ing, adjective, nounun·dis·sent·ing, adjective
Can be confuseddecent descent dissent

Synonyms for dissent

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Synonym study

4, 6. Dissent, dissidence mean disagreement with the majority opinion. Dissent may express either withholding of agreement or open disagreement. Dissidence, formerly much the same as dissent, has come to suggest not only strong dissatisfaction but a determined opposition.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dissent

Contemporary Examples of dissent

Historical Examples of dissent

  • Graham fell in with the scheme without a murmur of dubiety or dissent.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • A murmur of dissent from the others drove him back into shy silence.

  • And to the class of opposites belong assent and dissent, desire and avoidance.

  • And why, I said, do you neither assent nor dissent, Protagoras?

  • Roma withdrew her hand from the hand of the Pope and made an exclamation of dissent.

British Dictionary definitions for dissent


verb (intr)
  1. to have a disagreement or withhold assent
  2. Christianity to refuse to conform to the doctrines, beliefs, or practices of an established church, and to adhere to a different system of beliefs and practices
  1. a difference of opinion
  2. Christianity separation from an established church; Nonconformism
  3. the voicing of a minority opinion in announcing the decision on a case at law; dissenting judgment
Derived Formsdissenter, noundissenting, adjectivedissentingly, adverb

Word Origin for dissent

C16: from Latin dissentīre to disagree, from dis- 1 + sentīre to perceive, feel
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 dissent

early 15c., from Latin dissentire "differ in sentiments, disagree, be at odds, contradict, quarrel," from dis- "differently" (see dis-) + sentire "to feel, think" (see sense (n.)). Related: Dissented; dissenting. The noun is 1580s, from the verb.

Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime. [Jacob Bronowski "Science and Human Values," 1956]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper